Communities of Kinship: A New Approach to Genealogy

Intended Audience:
All levels, but probably best suited for Intermediate or Advanced

Outline of presentation:

  • Genealogists can use kinship theory to enhance their genealogical research
  • Kinship Theory is just a fancy way to describe how we think about kinship and family.
  • Genealogy is all about constructing and analyzing the bonds of kinship.
  • For our ancestors, kinship was even more important to their everyday lives than it is for us today
  • What is kinship and who do we consider kin? Is it biological or social? The answer seems intuitive but it’s more complicated than we think.
  • Our ancestors recognized a wider range of kin than we usually do so we have to put ourselves in their place to understand their worlds.
  • Marriage is the nexus of kinship; marriages create kinship groups.
  • What is the role of kinship in the South’s racial ideology?
  • Here are five areas in which you can produce more sophisticated research results by viewing your ancestors through the lens of kinship theory. In the 18th ¬– and 19th –century, kinship was the most important factor in these areas, among others.
    • Settlement and Migration
    • Religion
    • Political and Economic Power
    • Marriage
    • Naming Patterns
  • Using kinship theory as the main principle to guide your genealogical research will result in greater success.

Note: "Communities of Kinship: A Case Study" is a related presentation