On Wednesday, June 16, we held “How I fIT: Finding your genealogy source code,” hosted by Alonzo Felder, an IT analyst for the Duke Global Health Institute. Please see Alonzo’s guidance and list of resources to dog deeper: Genealogy II notes.
Alonzo explained how exploring family trees can deepen your sense of identity and belonging. Felder emphasized the difference between transformational thinking and transactional thinking. In IT, we often utilize transactional thinking, he said. Transactional thinking limits our humanity. If we don’t understand what went into making the people who made us, then we’re at a loss for who we are. Knowing where we come from allows us to see ourselves in the story. And we are all a part of the story.
For example, we use transactional thinking when we identify a technology issue and know that there is a definite solution. In genealogy, however, there may not be a “solution” or clear answer to what you are looking for. Transformational thinking helps you accept that there may be a lack of closure due to the fact that family trees are always changing and evolving.
During the event, the nearly 30 participants were divided into breakout rooms to participate in a genealogy “scavenger hunt,” using a list of clues that Felder had provided (ie: find an ancestor’s burial site, use the Google Earth time lapse feature to search their historic neighborhood, etc.). Participants were able to connect with their colleagues while learning more about their own family histories as well.
Were you there? Tell us what you thought about it: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eFnr54vp3cKS3oW