Victorian Soft Porn

History doesn’t change but our interpretation of it does. It’s all the same events and and the same material culture (as far we can discover it), but when we look back on it we often see different things than our ancestors did. I’ve been looking for a good example to add to my “toolkit” of … Read more

Eleanor Harley

Malatiah Luce, of Martha’s Vineyard married a woman named Eleanor Harley or Harlow. Everything I’ve found about her online comes directly or indirectly from Charles Edward Banks’ 3-volume History of Martha’s Vineyard (1901, 1966): 59. Malatiah(3) Luce, (Thomas(2), Henry(1)), b. 1710; res. T., husbandman; m. Eleanor Harley (or Harlow) 5 July 1738, who was b. … Read more

Researching Networks

I’m a fan of using networks to break through genealogical brick walls. My shorthand for this is “People tend to marry someone they know.” When you’re studying a community it helps to start mapping everyone. Look at their relatives, look at their neighbors, look at the other people who sign the same documents. It’s time … Read more

White American Culture

Here’s a guy, someone I watch now and then on YouTube, complaining that White Americans have no culture. It’s hard to know what to make of this. It’s an idea generally associated with White Supremacists, but I don’t think that’s his point. He says most white Americans lack a sense of culture and a sense … Read more

Learning the middle ages

I pulled this old article by James Palmer out of my bookmarks last night. I’ve found my interests wandering lately from the Middle Ages to the American West. Don’t know why that is. If I had wanted to do western history, my parents were total geeks. I was mysteriously attracted more to medieval stuff, and … Read more

Time to Kill Off Chivalry

A few days ago I wrote about the Necessity of Chivalry. That was C.S. Lewis talking about the ideal of turning brutal warriors into men who care about the world and people in it. That was medieval chivalry. Now I’m thinking about killing off chivalry. Modern chivalry. The modern stuff is different from the medieval … Read more

Online Learning

Shut in because of the COVID-19 virus for a couple of weeks now. I’m catching up on some old genealogy chores, but I’m ready for some variety. Maybe this is the time to work through some of the online learning courses I’ve bookmarked. I’ve spent I don’t know how many hours with YouTube videos. Mostly … Read more

Other Possibilities

So often someone sends me a solution to a genealogical knot, along with the expectation I will see it as the final answer. That’s surprisingly common with reconstructions of early medieval dynasties but it also happens with routine research into ordinary people. My expectation is quite different. A good test of the evidence is whether, … Read more

Cultural Genealogy

I’m in love with Raphael Falco’s Cultural Genealogy. It’s the book I wanted to write but never did. Genealogists who work on ancient and early medieval genealogy often think it’s all pretty simple. There are chronicles that show the generations. Enter those in your software and you’re done. You have descents from Adam, King David, … Read more

Necessity of Chivalry

“C.S. Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way.” (New York Times Book Review) Today is Good Friday. I wanted to do something “Christian”. I didn’t expect to end up with C. S. Lewis. As a … Read more