May 24th, 2012

I've Been Reading

I really have.

I enjoyed the latest Sookie Stackhouse installment from Charlaine Harris, _Deadlocked_. I'm looking forward to the series ending.

I'm not sure why I bought _Controlling Cancer: A Powerful Plan for Taking On the World's Most Daunting Disease_ by Paul and Holly Ewald. It's sort of interesting, but I don't really trust Ewald; he's kind of predictable. "It's probably caused by a virus/bacterium/helminth! So we can fix it! Yes!" That's why I'm not sure why I bought it. I got the ebook, so it was cheap and there are checkable stories in it and they don't seem to be wrong.

_1001 Solution Focused Questions_ is really good, altho I'm not sure whether it should be recommended to a general audience. Like the truly awesome _Doing What Works in Brief Therapy_, it is aimed at clinicians. But it's great: it includes sort of cookbook-y stuff for therapists to use, along with a fantastic overview of how various specific therapy approaches relate to each other (in terms of who came up with them and who influenced who and how the content overlaps and so forth). It's very rah-rah, but I expect that from client-centered/forward looking therapeutic strategies; it's part of the schtick. By Fredrike Bannink and translated from Dutch.

_Sand County Almanac_, like many collections of stuff-written-for-magazines, is uneven. Like a lot of stuff written by people who were pissed off by FDRs programs, it's a little annoying. But a few pieces are good; the rest run heavy to anthropomorphizing of animals and overwrought, sentimental, nostalgic description. This was a book club selection.

_A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929_, by Paul Conkin is unbelievably good. He merges personal experience as a kid through work as a teenager and then as an adult, all relevant to agriculture in the US. He describes farm policy in enough detail to make sense of a lot of polemic out there. And he's basically quite fair minded. In the end, he doesn't really think we can roll back all of industrial agriculture without decreasing the number of humans on the earth, so someone out there is going to be mad about him, but I'm not one of them. This is an amazing book; you should read it. Also, pictures of combines! Everyone loves those, right?

Poking at the Gelders Archief

I have a ggggrandmother (unless I got the wrong number of g's) with a last name that is remarkably unevenly recorded in genlias. I'm starting to think maybe that's salient and I should dig in a bit and try to understand why. For that matter, her mother's first name and last name are unevenly recorded as well.

Grada Betzold or Betzholt or Betrolt or Betsolt (and that shouldn't be regarded as a complete list of alternate spellings) was born in 1806 to Jan B* and Maria or Martina or Martijna Janse or Jansen. Her mother, Maria or Martina or Martijna Janse or Jansen had been previously married to Goosen Huisman or Huijsman (but that particular variation doesn't bother me -- it's normal). I'm not sure when Grada was born, because I haven't found the birth date yet -- just the baptismal date. And while I have found a marriage record for Jan and M*, I don't have parents for either of them. I had been lucky enough on a previous trip through the Gelders Archief to find a death record for M* J* that indicated Jan was still alive; I haven't yet found a death record for him but I remain optimistic.

Today's exploration of the Archief yielded Grada's baptismal record and M*'s previous marriage to Goosen. I have not yet identified a source for Gelderland that parallels (with images of the civil register), but I keep hoping that's just because I haven't found it yet.

I've focused very heavily on the Fries branch of my Dutch ancestry, because I've become familiar with those sources and they interact so well (Tresoar, the Frisian archives, genlias for the Netherlands as a whole and Allefriezen for images of the civil register). I suspect they work so well in part because so many people immigrated from Friesland to the United States -- their customers are online and using English so they serve online customers using English really effectively.

Not so in Gelderland, but that's not a good reason for giving up, right?

ETA: I finally found Grada's husband's death date in genlias (there, she's "Grada Bet Zout " in the transcription). His name is Cornelis Jager. I'm feeling like these are all Germans. Heteren, Dodewaard, Valburg, etc. are all really close to the border and those names have a strongly German feel to them, even for Dutch names.