Children of the Shenandoah

We have not succeeded in answering all our problems. Indeed, we sometimes feel we have not completely answered any of them. The answers we have found only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways we feel that we are as confused as ever, but we believe we are confused on a much higher level and about more important things.
     -- Introduction to Sigma 2 release
         Scientific Data Systems

GEAN Prosopography

If you thought clicking to get here would save you a trip to Webster's, you were sadly mistaken. Mental improvement requires self application, dedication, determination, and substantial effort. The harder you labor for knowledge, the longer you retain it. However...

The individuals within the bounds of Children are, but with few exceptions, all connected. That is, you can start with anyone chosen at random and walk up and down the branches of the various families and eventually come to anyone else also chosen at random -- in theory. In practice it is not at all obvious what choices need to be made along the way, making it a very trying exercise indeed.

One of the exceptions to this connectivity are those names whose internal computer identification (as shown in the index) begin with "HVR:1." That family was provided by a coworker who thought maybe we could connect our lines together; thus far, we haven't been able to. With precious few other exceptions, the connectivity thesis is valid.

Let me illustrate by example:

Suppose we look for a connection between Ethel Fadeley (1887-1937) and Eleazar Haun (1863-1932). It turns out that one such connection is:

Ethel Fadeley's aunt

Ann Fadeley's son Walter's wife

Ruth Hoover's second husband

W I Wilkins's first wife

Esther Hollar's grandfather

Jacob Haun's son is

Eleazar Haun

I am not claiming this is the only connection between these two, nor even that it is the shortest, most direct path. And, in the spirit of truthfulness, I must confess I did not pick those two names and ascertain the connection. I picked the first name randomly, ran up and down a few branches and just wrote down where I went to generate an example. Write down or print out the above example and see if you can traverse the path.

In the past generation or so, we have seen a terrific influx of "outsiders" to the Valley so that there is no longer the "everyone is kin" sense of community present. This had been one of the endearing traits of the region. I harken back to World War II and subsequent times and am keenly aware of this loss while some of the younger folks may not be. Not to be morbid, but there was a time when almost everyone in the obituaries section of the newspaper(s) could be found in Children. Now, only a minority of names appear within. Sad.

By the way, checking for connections between blood relatives (i.e. to see if two people share one or more common ancestors) is trivial. All you need do is check the Ancestors for each and look for the same names in each list. And to determine the type of relationship, refer to Cousins, Removes and Other Such Stuff.

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