Talks to focus on ancestry search and Princess DianaKay Johnson, long time Fargo resident and ancestry enthusiast, along with Prof. Phyllis Bratton, head librarian at Jamestown College, today will bring tracing family history alive for JC’s East-West Art History class and visitors interested in learning how to use the service.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Kay Johnson, long time Fargo resident and ancestry enthusiast, along with Prof. Phyllis Bratton, head librarian at Jamestown College, today will bring tracing family history alive for JC’s East-West Art History class and visitors interested in learning how to use the service.
Students in the class researched their own family history during winter break and brought back their stories by way of their grandparents and great-grandparents.
Bratton will give the students and guests attending the noon presentation, instructions on using the college’s access to ancestry.com and help anyone attending learn more about methods of tracing one’s own links.
This will take place in Reiland classroom 123 (just to the left as one enters the main northeast campus entrance, not the northwest entrance facing the valley).
This part of today’s event is open to the public. She will begin her program about 12:15 p.m. Seating is limited but guests will receive priority seating.
Following Bratton’s presentation, students will return to their classroom to hear Johnson give her own link to Princess Diana Spencer, to whom Johnson is related through the Olin side of her family.
There was an online posting on June 5, 2011, by Roger Green, whose wife and daughter are related to the Spenser line, and who is author of “Ramblin’ with Roger: a Librarian’s Life, Deconstructed.”
Green introduced a Fargo lady named Kay Johnson, whom he met at his wife’s family reunion of the Olins/Spensers.
Like all ancestry connections, this gets deep and the more that’s known, the harder it is to follow — and maybe even believe, except Johnson has the family tree that was professionally researched and done.
She has DNA, and other proof showing her connection to the mother of Britain’s second in line, Prince William. It’s a fascinating bit of information that like so many Americans with links to Europe, may plant their family tree at Windsor Castle.
I read the posting and like so many others, found it interesting because I have a mom and dad and they too had parents, and the history of every person makes up who we are. We all (many anyway) find our past to be interesting and for an artist, it’s doubly so. We enjoy the symbolic meanings that make up the language of family crests.
If you attended Jamestown College’s Dine & Bid last spring, you probably noticed some of the banners, flags and shields decorating the hall. Those brightly colored hangings had meaning. They told a story of connections.
We now live in a time when connections are very important. I researched and painted many of those banners and crests that were displayed. I use them in the class I am teaching this semester. It’s easier to remember a brightly colored image than a page in a book even if it’s illustrated.
A colorful flag that measures in double-digit feet is far more memorable than a 4-inch column in a textbook — especially for college-aged students.
During the Middle Ages that was how people showed who they were, to whom they were bound, their allegiances and even where they lived, worked or to whom they were married. Instead of a number on a building, the owner of that structure placed a family crest of stone, metal or terra cotta onto the outside of their home or business so anyone wanting to find them, could. Everyone knew the symbol that represented that family.
It was an age where literacy was nonexistent except through the church or royalty, or perhaps a hired scribe. Pictures, whether on a crest or as illustrations in a book, would be the average person’s sole method of following directions or reading a story.
The students in the class are making their own tunics and shields, goblets, chainmail and jewelry that is symbolic of the period. As a means of helping them learn how to find their own history, and if it has not already been done by someone before them, they will learn how to trace their family to the moments they arrived to the New World, to become citizens or even just to work, or go to school.
Bratton will show those attending how to start a search. There is no charge for attending the noon event today.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.