My Family – A line at a time

In my genealogy work I have now identified my roots back, at least, four generations. In most cases even more. In the process I have attached myself to 16 different family lines. In this process I have collected a lot of information and, alas, found myself more or less overwhelmed by it all. So I am going to start a project of writing down what I know about each of the families in an attempt to sort it all out. As I proceed, I am going to concentrate on one family line at a time and work my way back as far as I can.

Since my genealogical work is primarily for my kids I am going to use my surname and my spouse’s maiden name as the starting point and pursue each of the other lines as they are encountered in the family tree. My genealogical tree is available on Ancestry.com (Murray_Summers Family Tree_B) but this is an attempt to expand the tree into some kind of narrative.

I am not sure that this will be an orderly process. At this point I hope to deal with each line separately, and then move on to the next one, but who knows. The family tree process is not a pretty one. I will try to label the articles so that the pieces can be assembled easily and I hope to build a supporting set of data in the My Family tab of the blog. Hopefully I can keep it all in order.

As you might suspect I have an ulterior motive for all of this. I have reached a point in my genealogical life that I need to take a step back and get a grip on the information that I have gathered. So behind all of these entries I will be putting my data together and cleaning up my tree and all of the citations. 

Generations of Family

I have been working with the TimePage, in one form or another, for a dozen years or so now.  It isn’t surprising, then, that my notion of history has been thoroughly shaped by the generational model of social cycles in history.   About two years ago, for reasons completely unrelated to my TimePage activity, I became interested in my genealogy.  I spent many hours grinding through the seemingly endless databases at Ancestry.com, wandering through old family photo albums and bothering relatives with requests for information about the family.  Then, just recently, I was quietly staring at the family tree one night when a thought suddenly pushed its way into my old, cluttered brain.  You know, my TimePage time lines and my family tree are really the same thing.  Wow.  Talk about a light bulb moment.  In retrospect, it seems so obvious that I don’t know how it could have escaped me.   At one time I had even mentioned a couple of my direct ancestors in the time lines.  Maybe, all this time, I have been tapping the same, hidden need to understand my past in both of these commitments.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I am now trying to come up with a way to combine the two elements within the TimePage structure.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that I am instituting a slight philosophical shift in the content of the TimePage.  In fact, part of that shift is related to the inclusion of genealogical data into the timelines.  I haven’t completely sealed the deal yet in my head but as time goes on expect to see a few more family tree details appear in my time lines.  If you think about it, the representation of social cycles are really just a family tree for everyone.  I just have to come up with a good way to hook the two together.

TimeLog2 progress.

I have not had any big problems with TimeLog2 recently, and I have added just about all of the features that I will be using for now, so I am going to call the new page stable. In keeping with the new philosophy (see earlier post), I am only loading bios from my “most important” list in the Today-in-History pages. As time goes on, I will be doing the same with events. Eventually, I will sync up these entries with the data in the TimePage itself so that the two data sets will be compatible.

I am going to leave the old TimeLog on line so that there is a path for any of the old followers that may have missed the transition. This will also allow me to make a clean break since the old content can be accessed if need be.

Some thoughts on this blog.

So many possibilities.

I have been thinking about what I want to do with this blog.  I have come up with a few possibilities.  All of my immediate ideas fall into the general catagory of documenting my TimePage adventures in the past, present and future.  The TimePage has a blog but I have decided to limit it to discussion of the TimePage ideas and to serve as a  supplemental repository for content related to the TimePage and the subject of History.  Therefore I am going to pursue some, and hopefully all, of the following topics in this blog.

  • History – I have wanted, for some time, to put down in writing the history of the TimePage.  It has been online for 12 years now – an eternity in internet time – and I need to document it while I can recall it.
  • Genealogy – One of my other time eaters is my Family Genealogy.  I have noticed that the generational history of the timepage is a natural fit with the generation in my Family Tree.  I have made a feeble attempt to incorporate the one into the other but a lot more needs to be done.
  • Philosophy – Just recently I made a major decision regarding the direction I want to go with the TimePage.  The TimePage is long overdue for a major overhaul and it wouldn’t be worth it if I didn’t bring something new to the table.  This philosophy begs to be organized and written down before I begin the ugliness of redoing the pages.
  • Online Direction – I think I need to think out loud a little bit about what I really want to do with my online presence.  I think I have drifted into a plan recently but, again, it needs to be fleshed out a little better.  This is where the rubber meets the road.
  • Personal – Lastly, a place to document my opinions and my uncertainty about the other things in my life.  Books are a big part of my experience and I am going to be talking about them for sure (see previous post).   Pictures are going to be shared.  I don’t know at what level yet, but they are also an important bit of my existence.  And maybe a little about movies, music and TV, but not as much.  I won’t be talking about my family, as much as I love and cherish them all.  I don’t presume to know what they would like to share with you all, so I won’t try.