Monday, April 7, 2008

Not just remembering the respectable

Dick Eastman blogs about northwestern Ohio genealogist Jana Sloan Broglin's new books but doesn't link to them. Parts 1 and 2 of Hookers, Crooks, and Kooks are available here.

Broglin, CG, is at least a triple threat: in addition to extracting this, um, out-of-the-way information from the 1880 US Census, she's an engaging lecturer, and now as "Aunt Merle" she's a blogger. (Aunt Merle was the real-life inspiration for Broglin's new books, as she was the madame of a house in Toledo.)

I've always thought genealogy is at its best when it finds the people who have been most thoroughly forgotten by respectable, successful society. The carefully pruned family trees and selective autobiographies in the Victorian-era county histories are useful and easy to find, but they aren't the whole story.

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