Archuleta Genealogical Society to host Katherine Sturdevant Saturday

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Katherine Sturdevant

By Deneice Stacy
Special to The PREVIEW
On Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Archuleta County Genealogy Society will host Katherine Sturdevant, a professor of history at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, where she is the senior U.S. history specialist and has won local, state and national awards for teaching excellence.
She published two family history books (“Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History” and “Organizing and Preserving Your Heirloom Documents”) and many articles. She has taught courses about various levels and aspects of family history for almost 30 years.
Her long-time specialties include immigration and migration history, as well as the Scotch-Irish as a frontier culture, both of which have been topics for her talks to national and local genealogical societies.
Sturdevant will be conducting two seminars.
Session one will be on “Immigration History and Theory for Genealogy: An Introduction.” To illustrate how social history research may inform the family historian, this session outlines the typical patterns of American immigrant life, after arrival. Included are the main historical group arrivals with their places and periods; how and why immigrants chose home sites; their means of getting there; their trades and customs; and how they interacted with other immigrants, new and earlier. With knowledge of these patterns, researchers realize new sources to utilize and writers understand better how to place families in the context of their times and lifeways.
Session two will be on “Scotch-Irish, Scots-Irish or Ulster-Irish: Understanding Frontier Culture.” Scotch-Irish ancestors are a colorful lot vital to American history. They are a unique American culture, arriving mainly between the 1720s and 1770s. They blazed frontiers up and down and over the Appalachian ridge from Vermont to Florida and into the Far West. Their folkways were rooted in Scottish clans’ experiences on the northern Irish frontier. Their character explains many of our ancestors’ life, immigration and migration choices. Through them, we can learn what social history can offer the family historian for research and writing. This session includes the cultural and family names we have called these folks; their true origins (and how DNA might reflect those); and their migration motives, methods and routes. Cultural patterns include fighting and competition, kinship networks, folk religion, and definite notions of gender and age. Their colorful ways make them interesting, but also the subject of comical stereotypes that still survive.
Both sessions include a fun PowerPoint. The Scotch-Irish are generally more colorful, but the immigration session applies to any family in an exciting way. Both have loads of human interest.
Everyone is welcome to come for the day or attend only one of the sessions. If staying for the day, please bring your lunch. Drinks and snacks will be provided.
The meeting will be held at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.