Thursday, March 24, 2016

Genealogy Charting: Spreading like wildfire... (aka a genealogist's ode to Kaffe Fassett)

Facebook is full today of folks trying out J Paul Hawthorne's nifty new tool to map out where your ancestors were born (or died, or really whatever you want in common with them...).

I used the slightly different file from Mary Kircher Roddy to develop my image, and then I started to tweak it to use one color per state or country. (I have to admit, I like the way she identified all of the ancestors in short form so that you could tell where you are in the chart - otherwise I might have gotten lost!)

What comes out is a fun visualization of where your ancestors were from. Yes, I know my maternal grandmother's ancestors were all English, but it was fun to put a color behind them and identify them so clearly as such. 

Interestingly, it didn't immediately make me think that my ancestors had diverse background. What it actually made me think of was a color chart for knitting designs, specifically, of Kaffe Fassett. 

I would have never thought those colors worked together, and yet somehow, they do. Its the mosaic of me!

I can see them now, in mitered squares and abstract blocks, winding around a beautifully felted bag. My ancestors were a little rough around the edges, so felting makes a good way to represent them, sturdy and tough with a little wear and fuzz showing fragility. 

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