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View Diary: History According to Mike Huckabee: How a Book of Political Satire Saved Christmas (12 comments)

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  •  I totally agree about genealogy! (2+ / 0-)
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    Chinton, NonnyO

    My mom is a professional genealogist, so I've seen how valuable genealogical resources can be in studying history. My mom does the opposite - using historical resources to do genealogical work. It's a research method using what's called "microhistory." My mom wrote a book about it. The book is actually an adaptation of her doctoral dissertation on the subject.

    Here's the link to her book if anybody is interested:

    •  :-) Thanks for the link! I marked it... (0+ / 0-)

      Looks like an interesting book..., and is something of what I've been doing all along without having a microhistory term to describe it (like I was doing full immersion learning in various periods of history without having a term before I entered college at age 41).  I have a couple of other things to get on my bucket list for the near future, but I think I'll get your mother's book while I'm at it.

      I've been doing genealogy for over 50 years since I got interested in high school, but since I got my first computer in the fall of '01 I've been making leaps and bounds over brick walls, and that means getting copies of the actual documents, some clear back to the 1600s on their web sites (Scandinavian countries; free in Norway and Denmark, thanks to the taxpayers there, fee-based sites in Sweden, having a genie friend pick up documents at the MN Historical Society, or ordering images from other states or Canada).  Instead of working on it when I had a chance like when I was younger, since I got my first computer I do some kind of genealogy research daily and/or weekly, for myself or for others.

      When I found the microfilm documents for my Rev. War Ancestor (Andrew Bennett), then saw the 'G. Washington' signature (I compared it with online sources that have images of it, so I know it's authentic), my eyes popped and jaw dropped.  (One of those videos mentions Washington and the armies were waiting at Newburgh for the ship from Paris, which is why I could connect my Andrew's honorable discharge being signed at Newburgh.)  Then when Andrew applied for a disability pension in the early 1800s after he broke his thigh bone and shoulder in an accident and couldn't run his farm any longer because his wife and two minor children couldn't do the work themselves, I saw the names of commanding officers he served under, his regiment, and the battles he was in were listed in the disability application, and I went and read up on some of those.!  I'm amazed he made it through the six++ years of the war without injury or death!  I did see in the muster rolls he was in hospital in Yellow Springs in June, 1778, but I still don't know why.

      I know more about my Andrew's service than that of the other ancestors whose names I have for the Rev. War, all thanks to bad microfilm copies of those original papers.  I'd give much to get decent digitized colored copies of the same papers in a high enough dpi that they'd be able to be enlarged if necessary to read on a computer screen (but not a damned Java program like what Sweden uses for their colored digital copies; gawd, I hate that because I can't get a decent full-sized copy to print out, but have to get just enlarged sections of the images which means there's no context to the images).

      Now that is listed on the stock market, one would think they'd re-invest some of that money into projects to get digital colored copies to replace those documents that are now horrid microfilm images.  Certainly, the Library of Congress (who also has one newspaper site they do jointly with various historical societies in various states) could use the money for just one useless jet fighter to make decent images of just one section of early historical documents and put them online for free for the benefit of all of us (but noooooo.... the MIC gets the money as does the corporation that makes the jets no one uses; ugh! - talk about a waste of money!).

      Still, the internet is the BEST thing that's ever happened to genealogy researchers!  Instant communication with other researchers from around the world, plus helping other people after one finally has enough knowledge about research to be able to do so (that's quite thrilling - I've been able to do that on three lists, and I love it!).

      Plus which, Internet Archive and Google Books now have copies of books that are out of copyright and available for free downloads.  Some are history books, some are genealogy books.  Some books are so old they were published when the lower case s was written as an f (that gets interesting to try to transcribe!).  Years ago before Google Books went online, I ordered a reprint of the genealogy book written in the late 1900s for one of my Quaker families in RI.  I splurged and got the hardcover edition for $50.  It's now on both Google Books and on Internet Archive for a free download!  [No, I don't regret the cost, and I've been able to pass on the links to others who don't have the book.]

      I only wish those ignorant doofuses (normally of the reichwingnut religious variety) who make up their own wishful stories of our collective history would get online and go to some reputable historical sites connected with reputable university or college history departments to find out what really happened.  Or that they'd do their own damned genealogy research if they have known ancestors that go back to the colonial period and would check out what happened.  (I'm talking about actual research, not copying someone else's work which might be full of errors.)


      :-)  Thanks, again, for the great link.  I'm delighted to know someone else appreciates real history and what role ancestors played in those areas, or how various historical events affected their lives.  [It's certainly more interesting than the fake revisionist history!]

      Happy New Year, Chris!  :-)

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 12:09:30 PM PST

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