Wednesday, January 4, 2017

GPS Study Group 1

Wow, so...that was an interesting, new experience.

I've been an occasional reader of Dear Myrtle's blog for a while. I think she's great. I never really participated in any of her group hangout thingy's, though. I applied back in November to be a panelist but never received any kind of email, even though I had to submit my email. Anyway, I just assumed that I was not a panelist.

Then on Monday I got a facebook message inviting me to be part of the private group for panelists, and I was like, "what!?"

Check it out here! 

Here you can watch a recap of this panel, in all its glory!
I am from 27:00-44ish.

So...then I quickly started to write, write, write. What I ended up with is this very flawed, way too long (as usual) document describing a little bit of research I have been wanting to write up for about four-ish months.

This was actually the first research I had ever done for a Czech person researching their American ancestors/relatives. I suppose I had always considered that to be "reverse" research. Really dumb and ethnocentric of me.

In the article, I wrote a little about why I think that Josef/Jan Drahota is the son of Jan Drahota and not Adolf Drahota. The task was really to illustrate a principle of the GPS. In this case, I was trying (sort of succeeding, sort of failing) to show that it's really important to conduct a reasonably exhaustive search, look at a multiplicity of sources, and especially to analyze what the heck they are actually saying.

Documents do not speak for themselves. You have to interpret them.

I feel really awful because I showed up late to the set-up thing, I was using the wrong mic, I look like a dumb smiley American (well...I guess that cannot be helped...) and as usual, I talked way, WAY too much. But if you want to check it out, here is a link again. It was kind of fun to do - and for the next five weeks I guess I will have the privilege of doing this! Augh! Well, I will be more prepared for next week...I guess that is the best part about being really unprepared (not being able to be less unprepared, or something like that).

On the other hand, I am very happy with the actual conclusions I made. There are still a lot of unanswered questions related to this research (especially because so many new questions were suddenly created) but they all stray a little from the first research question, which is, "who are the parents of Josef Drahota who immigrated in 1894 and was listed at the end of the passenger list?"

In this webinar/broadcast/hangouts/hoozy-whatsit-thingy with 50+ people watching me (What the!? Nobody usually listens to me when I talk about genealogy!!! WHY DO YOU THINK I BLOG???!??) I felt a little bit ridiculous, but was very happy to give a brief history of the Czech Lands, "in five sentences or less." Bwahahhahaha. Yeah right. But at least nobody thinks it is Yugoslavia anymore, and they know it is spelled, "Czech."

I thought I had some kind of understanding of what it was like to be a part of a "minority" as a Mormon, but now I sort of am starting to view what it is like to  be a "Czech" minority. In my piece, there were some things I clearly took for granted, such as that people reading it would know that post-immigration wanderlust was a real thing for Czechs after they arrived in America. But that was certainly more "niche" information than knowing how to spell "Czech", hahaha. I feel like doing an air high-five to my Czech genealogy friends and saying, "Czech History and Culture Educators Unite!"

I wonder how all the Mormon Czechs must feel. XD


  1. You did great!! Please don't worry about any tech problems, I had my share as well and I was in the green room ahead of time. It's hard to write and have that looked at by your peers, but by doing so we learn. I was very nervous to send in my homework! Myrt and Russ are wonderful and they will help you every step of the way. You did not make a fool of yourself! No worries and next week? We will take what we learned and have an even better hangout! Great to meet you today!

  2. Sounds like it went well. Way to go Kate!

  3. I agree with Cheri, you did great. Your conclusion is thorough, and your case is complicated and most researchers, I assume, don't know much if anything (hello) about Czech research. I learned a lot from your analysis. Thank you also for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment about my post, I really appreciate it.
    Looking forward to Wednesday, I hope I'm able to watch live again!

    1. Thanks! I really, really love finding like-minded people with whom I can collaborate. "Holy cow there are people who want to listen to me talk about genealogy!?"