One Does Not Simply…Write About Anthropology

My Time as a Graduate Student

Historical Documents – Maps & Census

Historical Documents has been a great class this semester because I can use the methods that we are getting from the class and applying it. I posted earlier the transcribing exercise that I applied to the original handwritten manuscripts of Tolkien. This inspired me to use these skills of transcribing, census recording, and building a timeline of events to LOTR once again as a final paper/project. I am really excited to be doing this.

The two projects that I am posting today are the working with maps and census/working with numeral data exercises.

For the maps:

Item17I used four maps of Virginia, specifically around the Chesapeake Bay area and Jamestowne settlement from the years 1612 to 1755 and they are all printed maps. The first map is John Smith’s 1612 map of Virginia from his expedition in 1606-1607; second is John Farrer’s map of 1677 of the coast of 1650farrerVirginia for both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; third is a 1640 nautical map of parts of Virginia and parts of Florida written in Latin; and fourth is 1755 map of Virginia that includes North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland with boundaries and properties marked to indicate territory possession.

The artwork is what interested me the most between these four maps. In John Smith’s map he has his artwork on the Natives, one a single Susquehannock man and a scene with Powhatan and other 1640b55individuals which are original drawings and contrasts from what it seems to be illustrations of Native from the 1640 map. Smith’s map is also has elaborate drawings of the plant life, building structures, and sea creatures in the Virginia Sea and the Chesapeake Bay. Farrer’s map follow suit with the drawings of fantasy sea creatures, as wells ships, plant and animal life, and there is also a picture and biography of Sir Francis Drake at the top. In contrast to the English maps, the 1640 map has differing images of angel babies, images of what is believed to be Natives, and ships. 1755virginiaThese three maps are thus contrasted to the 1755 map that does not have any expressive images, just terrain images and names of rivers and mountain ranges. It can be concluded that the early colonial maps were not just to map out the landscape, they were also works of art that was used as a way of storytelling to describe the fantasy aspect of the New World, almost to draw interest to come to the New World. As time progressed and the New World was being established, there wasn’t any need to draw interest to populate the area. The New World itself was not some idea and fantasy, it was an established land and very much real. Maps, in turn, were used more for political reasons to mark boundaries between the colonies, mark property of England, show the locations of Native tribes, and show the terrain of the landscape.


For Census

1910UnitedStatesFederalCensusForRobertLClareI used two censuses, the 1910 and the 1930, from King George County, the Potomac District in Virginia. I specifically chose these two censuses because my family on my father’s side, the Clare’s, have been living in this area of Virginia since the late 1880s and continue to live in the same area generations later. I am also currently working on my family’s genealogy on both my parent’s sides of the family and my husband’s. Choosing these two censuses, I was able to compare and contrast various variables over a twenty year timeframe of the same area.

Comparing these two censuses, one can see that the 1930’s census has more detail than the 1910 but they both have very much the same categories. 1910 censuses have nine family households while the 1930 census has seven family households. One of the key differences that I saw between these two was in the ‘place of birth’ sections where in the 1910, almost half of the section is handwritten and the other half is stamped. In contrast, the 1930’s census, this section was all 1930UnitedStatesFederalCensusForMaryLClarehandwritten. There is also a difference in the record of where Robert L Clare was born. In the 1910 census, he is recorded incorrectly to have born in Virginia and in the 1930 census he is correctly recorded to be born in Maryland. Another change that is evident is the growth of the family size that is seen in both censuses from 1910 to 1930 with the birth of children during the twenty year difference. For example, the Clare family in 1910 had four individuals and in 1930 there are ten individuals. In the 1930 census, the Clare family does have a black man that is described as family servant at the age 85. I did not see any other families with a servant in either census. The last major difference was the occupation changes with specifically Robert Clare from blacksmithing working at an auto shop to farming. Both of these occupations were true and the family still owns the auto shop and farm that are recorded. The 1910 had more detailed specialties of occupations than the 1930 and there is a lot more farming occupations in 1930 than in 1910. There are a couple of families that also on both of the census besides the Clare’s, these families include the Fines and the Washington’s.


I really enjoyed doing these projects. As I stated before, my plan is to take these methods and apply them to LOTR to reconstruct culture histories of the various races.

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Academic Genealogy

UWF anthropology genealogy - culturalWhen we think about genealogy, the first think that  usually comes to mind is kinship tree of family. Which is all well in good, but have you ever thought about you academic genealogy? Who your professors studied under? And who those professors studied under and so forth? In anthropology, we talk about so much the “gods of anthropology” that it seems so far off in the past when we read about them. But in reality, we are not that far away if we map it out.

For this week’s Avant-Garde Challenge in Presenting Anthropology, a fellow cultural anthro student and I came up with the idea to do an academic genealogy of our professors. This project went from just focusing on the cultural professors to the whole department. The idea originated from t-shirts that my undergrad created with the genealogy of the Anthropology Department of UMW and one of our professors fro UWF had been thinking about putting a department genealogy together. We also were Amanda L genealogygetting sick of just talking about archaeology in the class, so we wanted to come up with something that would present cultural anthropology. Although it pertains mostly to the student at UWF, you can realize how closely academically related you are to Boas or some of the other big names in anthropology. As anthropologist, we do pride ourselves on our academic lineages and it’s cool to know that you may be just a generation or so away from some big names in the discipline.

In addition to the cultural genealogies, Amanda and I mapped out our personal genealogies. We decided to just focus our genealogies on our Masters Thesis Committee. Amanda did her bachelors at UWF as well, so her professors remained pretty much the same. Mine, however, has the addition of my undergraduate mentor on my thesis committee, Dr. Margaret Huber. Dr. Huber was a studenttina genaelogy of Rodney Needham which makes my lineages from both sides of oceans, Bronislaw Malinowski and Franz Boas. Which is pretty good. Through Dr. Huber I am the great great granddaughter of Malinowski and the great great granddaughter of Franz Boas. Amanda is the great, great, great graddaughter of Boas through Dr. Robert Philen’s lineage. (I think I got that right) Overall, it is just pretty damn cool.

It is important to keep in mind with genealogies that the vertical lines are decedents to/from and the horizontal lines are relationship to. Not everyone is an academic sibling to the other, but there are many who are because they studied under the same individual. For example, Amanda and I are academic siblings of each other because we are both studying under Dr. Robert Philen and Dr. Kristina Killgrove. But we are not siblings when it comes to Dr. Huber, I was her student. Hopefully that makes sense.

What do you think? Do you think that it is important to know your academic lineage? I believe it is important to know where you came from personally and academically. This heritage that we have in anthropology allows us to calm an identity within the discipline that many other disciplines do not have the pleasure of. Genealogies also allows us to remember those who have pasted and have made an ever lasting impression upon us. Although many of us have similar lineages, but it is the experiences and influences from our academic elders that defines who we are. For instance, my undergraduate program had 3 very different anthropological perceptive (structuralism, post modern, and functionalist) and although I loved and was influenced by all 3, the most influential was Dr. Huber and her structuralism. Regardless, it is important to know where we came from and to be proud that you may be a decedent from Franz Boas. I challenge you to construct your own academic genealogy and see who you are related to.

This is UWF Staff genealogy.  If you are the student, you are EGO.

UWF staff-anthropology

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