A hypertext genealogy project

This began in early February 1997 and seems to have acquired a life of its own. In March 2007 I'm revisiting it, rescanning some photographs, probably eventually correcting and extending in the light of stuff discovered in the last decade. The task is to make the branching structure of kinship and descent into a navigable web, taking advantage of the inherent properties of linkage in hypertext, which also offers a medium for open-ended expansion as further information is found and integrated. I haven't seen anything like this, but it seems so obvious...

I haven't figured out good solutions to representation of the whole structure or navigation (except by single steps between people linked by sibling bonds, by marriage, or by descent; and via indexes).

Anyway, you can START here. I'd be interested in your comments.

Here's an index of names, including all the people who presently have their own separate pages.

13 Feb 1997: An essay on what this is about.

18 Feb: During the weekend I got to thinking about how to include photographs, and spent a few hours on Monday and Tuesday with a scanner to begin to assess the practicalities. It turns out to be easy enough, though it's probably 10 minutes per image, and there remains the task of explaining the photographs: why particular ones were chosen, what they imply, what other stories they connect to. In a way that's intensely personal (which means both that it's mostly of interest to myself, and that some of what I think/think I know is my version of reality, and hardly objective), so I'm not sure what it accomplishes to experiment so publicly.

Photographs get into family archives because they do convey complex messages to the people who save them. Unpacking those messages is a risky business, especially when the archiver is no longer available to answer questions and elucidate relationships. I'm only beginning to grasp significance as I work with the tree of intergenerational identities and relationships, and a lot is simply unrecoverable: the people who knew the answers to my questions are dead.

22 Feb: I've experimented with a sort of kinship-linkage map to clarify the complexities in the nest of 30-odd Brighams/Maynards/Stows of Marlboro.

24 Feb: I did a sort of names by date of birth --not sure yet of its utility, but it gives another perspective on the dramatis personæ.

26 Feb: I have a very clumsy first-shot map of some birthplaces linked to several of the people, basically just to begin the experiment with another form of access. The map itself is copyrighted, and in any case it's not the sort I'd prefer (too much extraneous detail). And I still want to implement some OnMouseOver windows.

28 Feb: A bit closer to what I want with this map, but the scale is wrong and only a few of the places are connected to explanatory files at the moment. But it progresses...

8 Mar: I've added sketch diagrams for the Antrim N.H. kin of Parmenters and True/Wilson line. The form isn't very satisfactory (sprawls too much, isn't linked), but the detail in BCP's Family Journal 1890-1954 is so rich that even this very preliminary dramatis personæ is a useful skeleton of the relationships described.

10 Mar: For those who count such things, I've completed the trail back to the Mayflower, via the Reeds, the Sampsons, to Alden and Standish. Start at Hannah Sampson and work backwards (both of her parents lead to Mayflower connections), or follow the Reeds back to Esther Thompson for another (which, as we later discovered, leads to our common ancestor Francis Cooke). Caleb Johnson's Mayflower page seems to have everything an aficionado could desire.

11 Mar: see Parmenter Mayflower chart for Mayflower connections.

13 Mar: much addition of details of Parmenter Mayflower connections, and elaboration of Stow and Brigham information using Genealogy of the Stow Family in America and History of the Brigham Familty

16 Mar: Much figuring and tracing leads us to a common ancestor, in the person of Francis Cooke of the Mayflower! The victory here is over the masses of data. We've also uncovered MANY more persons to add, as time and fatigue level permits.

19 Mar: A preliminary version of a female kindred navigation aid (bright idea while rowing this morning)

26 Mar: Much filling in of links via females, using books via ILL and assorted web resources.

1 April: A chance encounter with the Axtell family home page led to Sudbury: 355 years and counting and A Brief History of Marlboro

3 April
A lot of connecting up in the realms of Newtons, Johnsons, Woods (more common ancestors unearthed, so to speak...)

4 April
Turns out Emma has Resolved White, brother of Peregrine, as one of her ancestors. And I've got the Parmenter connection clearly established through Woods/Newton/Maynard

19 May
Added some Root forebears (from Carol Kinsman Patten) who descend from Thomas Cushman, brother of Elkanah Cushman (an ancestor of Tryphena Bannister, and thus of latter Parmenters).

In 2007 I have a lot more to work with, including Flickr as a platform for imagery, work I did with Nova Scotia Faces (not genealogical, but much concerned with imagery and interpretation), and extensive work Betsy did several years ago to put the essential facts on a firmer historical footing. The latter makes it possible to correct and extend, but I haven't started to be systematic about that set of tasks.

23 March 2007
I started a page to try to disentangle the story of my father's mother, Mell Eastman Blackmer. There are other such knotty bits of family lore, on some of which the Statute of Limitations has a long time yet to run...