Monday, September 1, 2014

Methodology Monday and Labor Day with Philippina Kicherer

Genealogy is about remembrance, not just descendants. Or as Tom Jones puts it in Mastering Genealogical Proof, genealogical questions are usually about a relationship, identity, or activity (pp. 7-8).

Judy Kellar Fox's article leading off the June 2014 National Genealogical Society Quarterly is an example of an activity question, but not one like whether someone served in the Revolution. Her subject, Philippina Magdalena (Kaiser) Kicherer, emigrated and married late, helped raise stepchildren, ran a Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, farmhouse, and died in 1909.

How and why did she come there?

Without the aid of family letters or reminiscences, Fox spotted the name of a man who was Philippina's associate, not her husband's, and the name of a particular part of Germany rarely included in US census designations -- and worked out Philippina's otherwise forgotten story. Sometimes the supposedly dry bones of technical genealogy are the only way to learn those stories.

Judy Kellar Fox, "Why and How Did Philippina Kicherer Immigrate to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania?," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 102 (June 2014): 85-92.

Harold Henderson, "Methodology Monday and Labor Day with Philippina Kicherer," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 1 September 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

1 comment:

Judy Kellar Fox, CG said...

Credit goes to Elissa Scalise Powell whose presentation about who-what-where, etc. got me thinking along those lines.