Sunday, May 3, 2020

People and history

Our last post took a brief look at the reviews that will be part of our work for the next few months. Part of this will be a look at the themes that have come about over the past decade. For one thing, we will continue to blog, however there may be some adjustments, like the one that takes a technical view on matters. Recent events ought to resolve any reluctance to see that technology is part of our way of life now and even more into the future. Part of that is having people step up to responsibility for their freedoms (what else is the US about?) in the full sense that would fit the view of the dreamers who were here 400 years ago. But, there are other ways to have a presence, some of which have not  had much interest for many reasons. So, discussion of that (say, the overview of something like the ACM ( which has been involved with computing from the beginning. There have been several posts with a technology focus, and there will be more.

On another theme, we were looking at Elizabeths late last year (see December, for example). We got there through reading an article which mentioned a familiar family name (see Elizabeth Gardner Blanchard). So, looking at that led to a look at other Elizabeths. There are many. But, there are other names. As we read, we always look to see if there is some connection, usually in a broader scope: Thomas and Margaret Gardner, Essex County, Massachusetts, and New England. Doing that type of thing has led to several posts.

Actually, a decade ago, one of the first ventures was the Wikipedia page (it can use a little work). One section dealt with descendants. But, the focus is not just lineage as we deal with the larger picture of the long history of the US from the perspective of families. So, to the current post and its motivation.

The WSJ, recently, had this review of a book (Saint, Sinner, Troublemaker) on Dorothy Day. For starters consider, she may be put forth as a saint (Catholic). Note, too, the Church of England continued that tradition. In any case, it's a common story: young partying type who reforms and changes her life. Too, we always like to group people by generation. What comes to mind now is the one with the label dealing with the millennial change. Well, those also are on a century cusp which would have been the second one for the US. We had one a century ago.

As a pause, then, the US (and the world) had the Spanish Flu; now, we're dealing again with a viral conundrum. So, things recur, one might say. Then, one might ask, did we learn anything earlier? A more common cycle has been the boom and bust of business. Well, the US, as a whole, has been expanding since the beginning, with fits and starts. Guess what? All of those little intricacies can be looked at in terms of people.

NSDAR is a good example with its focus on the Revolution. We're coming up on the 250th. If one looks at any application, one will find clusters of patriots with a few loyalists thrown in. And, then, we have the following events (1812, etc.). But, another constant is what people face. Same now as then, in many ways. History abstracting out from human affairs glosses over lots and lots of knowledge bits that technology and the proper framework can help us recover. That is one area where we want to have an impact which would include improved technology for presentation and discussion.

So, Dorothy was interesting from several perspectives, but it was also her homies who are interesting. The WSJ review name-dropped John Dos Passos, Katherine Anne Porter, Eugene O'Neill, and others. The fact is that the US is always having newbies coming ashore from all points on the globe. But, with that, we always find threads that go back to the beginning. On a quick look, yes, Porter is an example of one. She is a descendant of Richard, son of Thomas and Margaret. Our first reaction was, did we see that a decade ago? Well, yes, as we noted her cousin: William Sidney Porter. We used WikiTree here as his ancestors are identified (several New England families). So, we see a literary family.

Additionally, they moved south (lots to look at here). Some went further to Texas. Yes, the coverage of the US from New England has been a theme for us from the beginning (see Western Expansion). Even  Ezra Pound, born in Idaho.

Getting back to Dorothy and Katherine, there have been several books and articles about them and their relationship. In the look back mode, the New Yorker looked at Dorothy. One might get bogged down in all of this due to the enormous amount of names that come up. But, there is a more important aspect. The themes (events, discussions, conflicts, etc.) are the same then as they are now. Hence, the comparison with the millennials who are now only to 2020. It was 1929 when the economic mayhem occurred. What do the youngsters face? Do we get better? Lots to look at and discuss.

Our thought is that the underlying streams of people's lives across time have more meaning that has ever been allowed to rise. One huge problem was technology. We have that now, somewhat. How about doing it right, in that case?

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/04/2020 -- We are finally back to work after deep diving into genealogy and registrar considerations based upon a huge database. So, not a hiatus. See 'Vanity genealogy.'

05/07/2020 -- Added an image to support the scroll at our portal.

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