GROUNDING THE FAMILY

Abstract

This paper discusses the grounding of the family in popular genealogy today. It applies a historical and comparative approach to the use of parish registers in three empirical cases from Austria. This use consists in a continued process of rooting the family locally, while simultaneously delocalizing it through the digital connection of data kept separate by the Catholic Church for many centuries. Grounding the family is thus a complex articulation of the modern discourse of settledness, closely bound up with a popular historical culture able to access archival sources directly for the first time in history. The paper questions the category of “imagined families”, which may marginalize this popular practice of producing kinship and perpetuate the essentialist notion of otherwise “authentic” (e.g. juridical, social, biological) families.1

Keywords

archives, migration, genealogy, family, Austria

How to Cite

Timm, E., (2012) “GROUNDING THE FAMILY”, Ethnologia Europaea 42(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1096

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Authors

Elisabeth Timm (University of Münster)

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