What’s I’m Looking Forward to in 2016: Extended Clusters

I neglected my blog in 2015. And I neglected my personal research. Work and life get in the way sometimes. I am ready to refocus on my people and new techniques to learn more about them.

Macro of a dandelion flower with a still intact cluster of white florets. In the background there are several blurred violet flowers.
White dandelion with a cluster of florets image by Horia Varlan

And this year it all about the cluster. As genealogist we focus on links between generations. Moving up and down the tree. And good genealogists use cluster research or the FAN principle, which are more or less the same thing.

I think we miss a lot about who our people were when we just look for the links between generations.  To really understand who they were, we need to understand the time they lived in, where they lived and the extended family they lived within. I’m thinking of these as extended clusters much like the dandelion.

Maybe it’s because I do southern research, but my family tends to be more of a graph than linear tree. 🙂

I’ve been working on five lectures for Swing Across the South that I’ll be delivering at SLIG 2016 and I keep coming back to the extended family and how it leads to understanding.  Not just establishing links to another generation, but knowing who they were.  I find the the more I know about them, the more I know about myself.

So if I can keep life from getting in the way — this year I’ll be working on new techniques for these extended clusters and what we can learn from them.

Stay tuned!

And Happy New Year!

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