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Some Updates and Future Directions

Posted in Genealogy and History, and Updates

If you have visited this blog in the past, you might have noticed some major differences. I have changed the look of the site. I had to upgrade my family tree on this site after my host upgraded some technical things behind the scenes, which broke my family tree pages. I wasn’t able to upgrade successfully using the database I already had, so I imported a GEDCOM from my Ancestry.com tree. However, that tree has a lot of errors that will take a long time to weed out, so please be patient with me here as I fix those issues on this website.

Second, I have some plans for future research directions that I hope to document here on this blog. Like many White people with ancestry in the South, I discovered that some of my ancestors engaged in the heinous institution of chattel slavery. I want to make it very clear that I am anti-racist, or am striving to be, and I do not condone or excuse my ancestors, nor do I give them allowance for engaging in a practice that was common at the time because there were plenty of White people who opposed slavery. I also acknowledge that it’s impossible to be “kind” or “good” and also think you have the right to own human beings. I recognized that my ancestors were flawed—they may have had aspects of their personalities and attitudes that were kind, but I also have no doubt in my mind that they engaged in cruelty to both those people they thought they owned and the Native inhabitants of the land they settled. I have decided to reckon honestly with my ancestors in all their complexity. To do otherwise, for me, is dishonest.

To that end, I am very interested in learning more about the people enslaved by my ancestors and plan to do what I can to uncover their stories on this blog as well. If I can learn more also about the Native people whose land my ancestors took, I hope to be able to share what I discover here as well. That does not mean I will stop learning more about my direct answers, but rather that I am seeking a fuller picture of who they were in all their complexity.

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