Tag: social studies

DNA, archaeology, anthropology and genealogy open eyes to the past.

DNA, archaeology, anthropology and genealogy open eyes to the past.

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It seems that every time I turn on my computer to view the internet, I find new articles and posts about discoveries made in DNA, archaeology, genealogy and even science, that shed new light on our search into the origins of our own family and heritage, and the origins of our ethnic groups.

Today I stumbled upon the article “Discovered 2.3 k-yr-old human skeleton throws light on our ancestry,” on the ANINews website.

According to this article, “DNA from the complete 1.5 metre tall skeleton is one of the ‘earliest diverged,’ oldest in genetic terms, found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.”

The DNA evidence pointed to this man being from a branch that is the most closely related to ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ and now presumed to be extinct.

Reading about these new discoveries points out something very intriguing to me. In the past, the discoveries were made based on exploration, experimentation, and finding something new, affecting and changing the future.

Today, the discoveries one hears of most are those delving into the past, using all disciplines of social studies including genealogy, anthropology and archaeology; and the sciences including DNA and chemical analysis.

Today’s most well known and talked about discoveries are looking to the past and where we came from; individually, as a family, and as part of a broader ethnic group.

This suits me fine as this is my area of interest and fascination. I can’t help but feel excitement with each new discovery in my own genealogy, as well as reading and hearing about the discoveries made with a much broader, more global impact.

It all matters and sheds light on who we are and where we came from.


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Genealogy is a great way to pique a student’s interest in Social Studies and History.

Genealogy is a great way to pique a student’s interest in Social Studies and History.

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In the past, I wrote a post about the effect my interest in Genealogy has had on my children’s interest in Social Studies and History throughout school. It has instilled such a personal connection for my children they were actually excited about studies and projects that had anything to do with their Acadian, French Canadian, Quaker and Swedish ancestries.

I’m sure most people remember their schooling the same as I do – an exercise in memorization for periodic tests and exams, the information learned being quickly forgotten soon after.

The only things that had a lasting impression on me were the things we learned that had a personal connection to us, our families, and our history.

It’s nice to see the newest crop of teachers’ abilities to see the value of incorporating genealogy into their curriculum to reinforce their teachings. Such is the case of a student teacher in Greene County, Pennsylvania who gave the students an assignment to create a presentation of their genealogy to be presented to the local Genealogical Society during a tour of the old county courthouse. The projects will remain on display for others to see until January 31, 2014.

More teachers in the United States and Canada should be doing this. It had a positive effect on my kids, and I’m sure it would on other students as well.

photo credit: Valerie Reneé via photopin cc


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