Saturday, April 30, 2016

Learning About Your Ancestor Through Culture and Folkways

Join Jean for a great course offered in August by the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research

The course, Learning About Your Ancestor Through Culture and Folkways  is designed to instruct students about their ancestors’ personal lives – beyond names, dates, and places – even if they did not know their early family members. To do this, students will get new ideas of how to use the tools from genealogy (and other disciplines) to become more familiar with the social history of the previous generations.

Social history includes all the “folkways” (art, music, food, costuming, traditions, etc.) that give us our cultural identity, along with the historical events that touched our ancestors’ lives. The goal: a greater understanding of our ancestors and their jobs, residences, relationships, and more. Perhaps, along the way, the students will also gain a better understanding of their own behaviors, interests, and traditions.

Course Schedule (all times U.S. Eastern)

20 August 2016

11:00 a.m. Culture and Folkways: Definitions and Roles: What is culture, as it relates to genealogy, and how does one differ from another? How do family myths relate to family history? (The work of Joseph Campbell will help answer this; in particular, those explaining the concepts of immigration and migration). Family legends will also be addressed.

1:00 p.m. Using Genealogical Resources to Understand the Lives of our Ancestors: How can you learn about an ancestors’ culture, life, community, and interests? This class will focus on how it’s revealed in census records (beyond just the ancestral household), city directories, wills, church and community records, newspapers, and more.

27 August 2016

11:00 a.m. Folkways and Traditions: How do the folkways of your ancestors define their cultural traditions? The importance of studying the music, art, holiday celebrations, clothing (costuming), games, and food will all be discussed. The provenance of artifacts and ephemera the descendants may possess will also be covered.

1:00 p.m. Where They Lived, What They Did: Why did my ancestor settle where he did? Why did he work in that job? These and similar questions will be our focus in this last session, using some of the information garnered from earlier sessions.

Plus Session, 24 August 2016, 8:00p.m. 

Culture Assimilation and Breaking Away: Becoming part of a new culture (whether that applies to American immigrants or those who moved from one part of the world to another) involves a certain level of assimilation (in order to function in the new environment). This is not easily achieved and will be discussed here, as will the issues of melding families from different cultures and the breaking away from tradition (most often associated with youth). How record-keeping is affected will also be considered. Discussion format, aided by PowerPoint “conversation starters” and resources from the field of Intercultural Communication.

Register today!

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