More Oral History

Here’s another story to illustrate the malleability of oral history. We should not trust our family stories, but always look behind them for ways they might have been elaborated over time. This story comes from Mircea Eliade, a Romanian historian. “Sometimes, though very rarely, an investigator chances to come upon the actual transformation of an … Read more

Naming Conventions

One of the canards of genealogy is that professional genealogists always prefer the earliest recorded name. The idea is that name is the most authentic. More or less true, but not quite, not always. William Shakespeare, for example. You think you know his name? His baptismal record, the earliest in a scant collection, calls him Gulielmus … Read more

Almost Métis

I used to think my dad’s ancestors were Métis. They’re not, but I ended up with a seemingly permanent interest. The Métis are a Canadian group, a mixture of Anglos and Indians from the area between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains. Not all mixed-race people in Canada are Métis, just the ones where … Read more

Anglo-Saxon Genealogies

“Germanic pre-Christian ideas of ancestry wouldn’t necessarily be totally intuitive to a modern person looking back.“ This is a favorite topic of mine. I rarely pass up a chance to point out others who agree with me. Here, Simon Roper. The old, poetic genealogies handed down by our remote ancestors “were probably not completely reflective … Read more

Sublette County Wyoming

A video about the scenic beauty of Sublette County. That’s where my grandmother was born and raised. So many familiar names. Big Piney, Marbleton, Daniel, Cora, Pinedale, Boulder. Someday I’m going to take a couple of weeks to explore. Bridger Productions, Sublette County and Pinedale Wyoming, YouTube <youtube.com>, Nov. 12, 2012, retrieved Aug. 17, 2020.

South Pass City

Another Wyoming video. This is drone footage of South Pass City, one my favorite places. It’s a ghost town on the old Oregon Trail. I lived here in a past life. When I was a teenage boy in Grand Junction I had some very vivid dreams about dying here as a teenage boy in the … Read more

Eden Bar

Here’s a very short video of the exterior of the Eden Bar in Farson, Wyoming. I must have driven by it a million times as a kid and a dozen times as an adult. It never stood out for me. I wouldn’t have thought I ever noticed it. I wouldn’t have thought of it without … Read more

Farson Dig 1940

I don’t think I knew the Eden Point was named after Eden, Wyoming. I wondered, of course. My mom knew, though. Of course she did. She grew up at Farson. Here’s a video clip from a 1940/41 archaeological dig at Farson. The Pennsylvania Museum (University of Pennsylvania) conducted the dig at a site they named … Read more

Before Wyoming

Very interesting article about pre-settler Wyoming. I wonder, briefly, whether the author might be related to the Justin Nickerson who went to school with my mother in Farson, Wyoming. I found this one because I was searching for information about American Indian place names in Wyoming. Specifically, I was wandering off on a tangent after … Read more

Tomten

In the novel American Gods, Neil Gaiman quotes Richard Dorson: “One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greeek-Americans the vrykólakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old County: When I once asked why … Read more