Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why do we pursue genealogy? A response to zoe Williams

I posted about a Zoe Williams article in The Guardian (UK) newspaper (dated 8 November) several weeks ago here. Her thesis was that genealogy research was basically ancestor worship, and therefore worthless. Several of my astute readers made excellent comments in response.

Another article appeared in The Guardian (UK) newspaper on 14 November in response to the Zoe Williams article - the Dan Waddell article is here. His thesis is that:

So, researching your ancestry is an impediment to understanding the past? That's absurd. It encourages people to engage with history and immerse themselves in the events that shaped our society. The vast majority of us are descended from
ordinary working-class folk. These were the people who fought and were killed in wars; who were forced by circumstance into the workhouse; who worked in the mills or were sent down the mines aged 10. And who exactly does Williams believe comprised the "radicals, grassroots movements, that sort of thing"?

Read the whole article. Frankly, I thought that readers Tim, Cathy, James, Dana and Miriam did a great job of defining their reasons for pursuing genealogy and family history in their comments here. Too bad Dan didn't read them first when he responded!

Thanks to Schelly at the Tracing the Tribe blog for pointing to this article.

1 comment:

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