February 2011 - We Are All Connected
- Some history
- What does it all mean?
- Resources (links, books, articles, the
2011 - We Are All Connected
Recently, Iíve become interested in our family genealogy. It all
started when one of my sons asked about our family history last year. He wanted to know
more for his children as they grow older. I pulled out a chart that my
sister had done almost 30 years ago showing our family back about 4 generations, with some notes
about ancestors who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620 and some
ancestors who were part of the American Revolution in the 1700s. I talked with
a couple of friends who are very involved in reconstructing their family history
for advice on where and how to start. They pointed me to some good
resources and actually started my family tree on the two sites they liked
As time has allowed over the past few year, Iíve become fascinated with
the twists and turns that Iím finding in learning more about our
ancestors. Using some of the new online resources is so much easier and
more rewarding than
searching out dusty records in old courthouses or attics. So many generous people
have posted their family histories on the Internet so they can be searched and used by
others. I am very, very grateful for all the great resources that Iíve
uncovered and the very helpful people I have connected with.
Iíve also found a few dead ends Ė places or people where I couldnít seem to go
any further. These have been put aside for now.
Using a couple of the most widely used genealogy websites, Iíve found that
Iím related to both of the friends I contacted. Our family is
related to quite a few presidents of the United States, a couple governors and
quite a few ministers of a variety of faiths Ė demonstrating a broad
cross-section of political and religious beliefs Ė often at odds with each
other. There are also farmers, lawyers, trades people, crafts people, business
owners and all sorts of other occupations that showed up. And, we are related to
someone who was hanged for being an accused witch in Salem, Massachusetts in the
1600s. I would venture a guess that most people in this country would find
similar interesting ancestors in their family history.
Some of the insights Iíve gained in this process:
- The more I delve into the family history, the more I learn about how we are
ALL connected to each other in some way or another.
- Iím learning about a whole variety of names that I have never heard or
seen before such as Eleazer, Rhun, Verch, Hywel, Gwenllian, Madog, Bedo,
- We have more people named Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Abigail, Ann, Hannah,
Thomas, Samuel, John, and Joseph in our family than I ever imagined was possible.
There are several children with the same name in the same family who
were re-named with the same first name after the first or second child with
that name died for some reason. I found one family unit where 8 children died within 2 months of dysentery in the 1700s
during an epidemic in New England.
- Iím really appreciating just how much progress we have made with medical
advances and our standard of living so that our families today donít need 8, 10, 12 or
14 children in order to have children survive to adulthood.
We are very, very blessed today in this country.
- And, I am finding how inter-connected I am with a great number of other people that I
never knew about before now. They are "strangers" and yet they are
also "cousins" and "family."
- Some ancestors have left a legacy with writings about them, stories passed
down through families, projects they were involved in and long-lasting
records of their lives. And, there are many people about whom very little is known.
Sometimes, there is only a record of "son" or "daughter"
or "child" without any
further information, probably because they didn't live long enough to be
named. Even people that I know personally lived to adulthood seem to
have "disappeared" as far as available records would
- Many towns have taken the time and made a concerted effort to keep good records about
deaths and marriages, and made those available on the Internet. Many
- A growing number of books and other documents have been scanned and put on the Internet as
their copyrights expire to be used freely by anyone who finds them.
And, many good and generous people have transformed that raw scanned
material into formatted websites that can be searched.
- A great number of records have been destroyed in wars, especially during the
Civil War in the South, when courthouses were burned down and all their
records were lost. Many more records have been lost simply due to lack
of interest in protecting them or lack of awareness that they might be valuable
to someone some day in the future.
- Some families moved around a lot, didnít own property, didnít leave
wills or family records, and used a variety of names or nicknames, which makes tracing
those parts of the family much harder. Finding clues, following small
"bread crumbs" and tracing down long-lost ancestors is like solving a complex
puzzle, with great exhilaration when a good result is finally found. I managed
to untangle a couple people's history through shear persistence and
determination not to give up until I found the answer.
- There are many errors ó with dates that donít make
sense at all ó especially the
farther back I go. Where sometimes a year might be off by one or two
because a birth or death date was estimated,
in farther back history (the 1400s for example), the cumulative effect means
the date range differences could be up to 50
years, which means that entire generations could be mismatched. Even in recent history, I found a very good resource of my
family line in a published book and was disturbed to see that my close
familyís middle names were wrong. The person who wrote it has since
died, so the errors are very hard (if not impossible) to correct and will be
probably be propagated for many generations to come.
- Errors get picked up and carried forward by many people who
"assume" that if it is published or on the Internet, it must be a
true fact. Not so, Iím learning, so have tried to find ways to
authenticate and cross-check information that I find.
Tracing family history is very much like dealing with day-to-day corporate
life - searching for lost or missing records, coping with errors that get
carried forward, solving puzzles, figuring out what someone did after they moved
on, chasing down rumors, trying to understand what happened and why, who did
what with whom and when, and untangling messes.
Many inter-connections that may not be obvious at first glance show up when we
take the time to delve a bit deeper. We find out that a guy in Customer
Service is related to the Corporate Vice President, the lady who works down the
hall goes to church with the President's niece and nephew, that we went to high
school with the company accountant and that someone else in the company is
married to our best friend's cousin. We may find out that a recruiter
we contact about a new job is also a good friend of our boss. Oops!
Or we find out that someone we once fired, now works elsewhere in the company
because they knew someone that didn't do a thorough background check. It's
an immense web of connection that is hidden until we go looking a bit
deeper. In December 2010, an intern on Facebook's data infrastructure team
completed a map
of the inter-connection of their members. The result is
fascinating. He says, "When I shared the image with others
within Facebook, it resonated with many people. It's not just a pretty
picture, it's a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even
across oceans and borders."
In corporate life, we constantly encounter people with names or backgrounds
that we may have never encountered before. We find many people with the same name.
Sometimes, a whole bunch of people leave at the same time, to be replaced with
people with similar names but very different personalities and
There may be great diversity of beliefs, cultures and styles, even when we share some
I'm seeing how the new media like Facebook,
Twitter and others have
allowed so many people to connect with each other easily. I'm very
much appreciating the hard work done by those visionary folks who came up with
the technology that we take for granted today. The Internet as a structure
didn't exist at all just a short time ago and today, we can't live without
it. Our lives and our businesses have been forever changed by technologies
that came out of nowhere it seems and continue to evolve and change our world
for the better.
As I try to pull all of this into perspective, it makes me wonder what is really important to my own family and what is
important about my family. What records should we be keeping? What
should we be sure to pass along to our children and grandchildren? What
will be written about us in 50 years or a 100 years or 500 years? Is our
life worth anyone knowing about it? Are we making a contribution to the
history of the world? Are we making a meaningful contribution to society
through our day-to-day activities?
It also starts me to wondering: What kind of progress will our descendants see in the future? Will
they look back to our current generation and wonder how we could be so
"backward" in our methods, attitudes or accomplishments?
What is the business legacy we are leaving for future generations of workers
in our company and our industry? What type of world will we leave
them? How will they look back at us from some future time?
What legacy are we leaving through our own individual work today? How
will it affect future generations? Will our work be understood or will it
leave people confused? Are we being careful about the records we
leave of our time in history? Are we taking the care to make sure all
records are accurate and complete?
It makes me stop and remember that everyone I meet ó
whether at work, at play, at the grocery store or on the highway ó
is probably related to me in some way. They are part of my world family. Am I
recognizing them joyfully as the family they are or am I seeing them as
"strangers" or not important to me?
And, I wonder what my life and my world would be like if those brave
ancestors had not left Europe to cross the sea to create the new country that we
take for granted today.
As we start a new year and set new goals, what is important this year?
What can I do as an individual person to make my life better and contribute to
the betterment of the place where I live? What can I do to improve the
working lives of those that I interact with every day? How can I remember
that we all come from common ancestors ó even
though our views and beliefs may be quite diverse today?
Each year, I do an exercise to chose a "word" as a theme for the
year (see our January 2010 article for an exercise
you can do). This year, it feels like my word is
"Perspective." Weíll see how that plays out for 2011.
||We wish you a year of looking forward as well
as looking back, a year of keeping life in a healthy Perspective, and a
year of accomplishment in whatever way is meaningful for you.
And, we wish you a year of recognizing more
of your own "family" members where ever you might be.
- Ancestry.com - Supported by the
Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), which has been digitizing old records
for quite a few years, this site can be used to set up a family tree for
free. To use the advanced features, you will need to have a paid
subscription. Related sites: RootsWeb
- Geni.com - Another very good genealogy
site. Again, you can set up a family tree for free and need a paid
subscription for the advanced features. The goal of this site is to
build a World Family tree, where everyone is connected.
- Cyndi's List of Genealogy sites - comprehensive list with links to many
resources - www.cyndislist.com
- The History Place - US Colonial Era through the American Revolution http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/revolution/rev-early.htm
- Overview for 2011 http://www.kaykamala.com/overview2011.html
- 2011 Forecasts and Predictions http://www.bukisa.com/articles/398269_2011-forecasts-and-predictions
- Power Path Seminars, Monthly forecasts http://www.thepowerpath.com/
- Article "The Nature of Corporate Abandonment" http://www.josestevens.com/inside1.php
- Article "Overcoming the Second Great Human Fear: Enslavement and
- 5 Top Stocks From 2011 Forecasts http://www.thestreet.com/story/10952197/5-top-stocks-from-2011-forecasts.html
- CNBC predictions 2011 Special Report http://www.cnbc.com/id/40299892
- The Old Farmer's Almanac - Winter Weather Report http://www.almanac.com/content/snow-report-our-winter-weather-forecast
- California's economy will pick up somewhat in 2011, forecasts say http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-1207-econ-forecast-20101207,0,226435.story
- Economists say Alabama and Mississippi economies will improve in 2011, but
unemployment could stay high http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2011/01/economists_say_alabama_and_mis.html
- 2011 forecasts http://5minforecast.agorafinancial.com/our-2011-forecasts/
- Five backward-compatible forecasts for 2011 http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2010/12/27/five-backward-compatible-forecasts-for-2011/
- 2011 Forecasts: Higher Mortgage Rates, Improving Housing Market http://www.totalmortgage.com/blog/mortgage-rate-trends/2011-forecasts-higher-mortgage-rates-improving-housing-market/9306
- 2011 Forecasts for Videography Trends in Business http://videolane.com/2010/12/2011-forecasts-for-videography-trends-in-business/
- Small Business 2011 Forecasts http://bizymoms.com/business/Article/Content-Insider---2011-Forecasts/1784
- Jobs rebound will be slow http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-02-06-new-jobs-growth-graphic_N.htm
- 2011 Forecasts for the 12 Signs http://planetaryenergies.net/articles/planetary-energies-2011/forecasts/
- Kiplinger Economic Forecasts for 2011 (video) http://www.5min.com/Video/Kiplingers-Economic-Forecasts-for-2011-516931312
- Kiplinger 2011 forecast www.kiplinger.com/links/11forecasts
- 2011 NEWS Forecasts by Channeled Readings, LLC - Nostradamus of the NEWS -
News Before It Happens http://www.prlog.org/11192414-2011-news-forecasts-by-channeled-readings-llc-nostradamus-of-the-news-news-before-it-happens.html
- Media forecasts 2011 http://www.rbr.com/features/intel_briefs/2011-forecasts-new-technology-to-keep-the-ad-ball-rolling.html
- Housing industry forecasts http://www.housingpredictor.com/
- UK Price Indices & 2011 Forecasts http://findinfoworld.com/blog/2010/12/18/uk-price-indices-2011-forecasts/
- 2011 Forecast: Mobile Technology, Social Media &
Engaged Healthy Behavior Converge http://coleman.depaul.edu/blog/2011/01/2011-forecast-mobile-technology-social-media-engaged-healthy-behavior-converge/
- 2011 Health IT Forecast: Balancing Techno-Optimism With Local Realities http://www.ihealthbeat.org/perspectives/2010/2011-health-it-forecast-balancing-technooptimism-with-local-realities.aspx
- Health Care Reform: Big Challenges Begin In 2011 http://www.ctlawtribune.com/getarticle.aspx?ID=39165
- German government raises 2011 forecast http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/363097,2011-forecast-summary.html
- 2011 Housing Market Forecast http://www.wealthdaily.com/articles/2011-housing-market-forecast/2868
Books - Disclosure:
We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.
- Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams.
Mike Dooley (This one on 9 CDs is excellent!)(available in different
formats). Simon & Schuster, 2009. ISBN-10:
0743582330 ISBN-13: 978-0743582339
- Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They
Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You
Feel, Think, and Do. Nicholas A. Christakis, James H.
Fowler. Back Bay Books, 2011. ISBN-10:
0316036137 ISBN-13: 978-0316036139
- Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It
Means. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Plume, 2003. ISBN-10:
0452284392 ISBN-13: 978-0452284395
- Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. Duncan J.
Watts. W.W. Norton & Company, 2004. ISBN-10:
0393325423 ISBN-13: 978-0393325423
- Connected: 24 Hours in the Global Economy.
Daniel Altman. Picador, 2008. ISBN-10:
031242809X ISBN-13: 978-0312428099
- Connected, or What It Means to Live in the
Network Society. Steven Shavio. University of
Minnesota Press, 2003. ISBN-10:
0816643636 ISBN-13: 978-0816643639
- Connected for Health: Using Electronic Health Care Records to Transform
Care Delivery. Louise L. Liang, Donald M. Berwick.
Pfeiffer, 2010. ISBN-10:
1118018354 ISBN-13: 978-1118018354
- Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a
Highly Connected World. David Easley, Jon Kleinberg.
Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN-10:
0521195330 ISBN-13: 978-0521195331
- Thy Kingdom Connected: What the Church Can Learn
from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks. Dwight J.
Friesen. Baker Books, 2009. ISBN-10:
0801071631 ISBN-13: 978-0801071638
- Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be
Separate and Connected. Anne Linden. Crown House Publishing,
1845900766 ISBN-13: 978-1845900762
- Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and
Constantly Connected. Soren Gordhamer. HarperOne,
0061651516 ISBN-13: 978-0061651519
- Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck. Michael
Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor. Lulu.com,
978-0-557-00377-8. Website: www.income-without-a-job.com.
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