Life in Possum Holler

Saline County, Arkansas, United States
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20 April 2009

History in black and white

History in black and white • Lifestyle ( - The Capital)

Archivist finds Scottish roots
Published 04/19/09

Chris Haley has always been interested in genealogy. But at least when it came to his father's side of the family, he figured things were pretty much covered thanks to his uncle, "Roots" author Alex Haley.

"It had been done," Chris, 46, said last week. "What would I prove that hadn't been proved before?"

How wrong he was. [Click link for entire story]

15 April 2009

Kin and the Courts: Testimony of Kinship in Lawsuits of Angevin England » Kin and the Courts: Testimony of Kinship in Lawsuits of Angevin England

Posted By Peter Konieczny on April 14, 2009
By Nathaniel L. Taylor
Haskins Society Journal, Vol. 15 (2005)

Synopsis: In the secular and ecclesiastical courts of Angevin England one finds, for the first time anywhere in Western Europe, genealogical narrative expressed within an increasingly formalized framework of judicial testimoney. In reviewing the variety of cases and proceedings from the era, one can discern three broard categories of lawsuit which hinge on genealogical testimony: marriage litigation, suits involving the inheritance of property, and suits challenging the inherited legal status of villeins. The present paper is limited to a review of the two more clearly defined types of litigation: marriage and villeinage. This preliminary qualitative study is based on a small sample of published cases from the Curia Regis Rolls in the regin of King John (for suits involving villeinage) and from the Select Please of the Court of Canterbury covering the whole thirteenth century (for marriage litigation), with additional reference to comparative material from other sources. After reviewing each type of case in turn, we will suggest common and divergent elements and note questions and directions for future research.

Read or download PDF of article.

07 April 2009

Kinship and Family Relations [in Ancient Egypt]

By Marcelo Campagno
Source: UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology [via California eScholarship repository]

Full Citation:
Campagno, Marcelo, 2009, Kinship and Family Relations. In Elizabeth Frood, Willeke Wendrich (eds.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles.

Entry link to PDF article

Excerpt from article:

The existence of terms like these that refer to larger kin groups is significant because it points toward the prominence of kinship in ancient Egyptian social organization (Campagno 2006). Kinship links were likely of great importance in the articulation of social ties both before and after the emergence of the state in the Nile Valley. In accordance with anthropological models of non-state societies, it can be hypothesized that, during Predynastic times, kinship constituted the main axis of social organization in village communities. Archaeological evidence seems to support this assumption: the grouping of tombs in clusters in cemeteries at various sites, such as Badari, Armant, Naqada, and Hierakonpolis, is similar to funerary practices known through ethnographic evidence, where such a distribution of burials reflects contemporaneous descent groups; the parallelism in the shapes of Predynastic tombs and houses (both were oval or rounded from the earliest times but included rectangular shapes from Naqada I on) may reflect a perception of continuity between the two domains, which in turn may suggest the perceived symbolic survival of the dead kin as members of the community; and indeed, the disposition of grave goods around the deceased could reflect notions of reciprocity, which are at the heart of kinship relations (Campagno 2000, 2002, 2003).

In Dynastic times, the state introduced a new mode of social organization based on the monopoly of coercion, but kinship continued to be a decisive factor in many social realms. Some pointers hint at its importance among the peasantry: the organization of agricultural tasks in family units (Eyre 1999: 52), practices involving cooperation (that is reciprocity) in the field labor, such as we see in tomb representations (discussed, for example, by Caminos 1990) or in the management of irrigation (Butzer 1976: 109 - 110), the (likely) prominent role of village elders in local decision-making (Moreno GarcĂ­a 2001), the scant interference of the state in intra-community matters—all these suggest the importance of kinship logic in the articulation of social dynamics in peasant villages.