Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 10 January 2012 15:20
From where did I come? To whom am I related? Is personal triumph or tragedy a part of my not-so-recent history?
These questions can be answered and other significant family information can be discovered in a class offered by Tabor College beginning later this month.
The class, “Folklore of Family and Culture,” will be taught by Peggy Goertzen, director of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, at 7 p.m. Tuesdays starting Jan. 31.
The course is offered for either sociology or history credit or may be audited by the general public. According to Goertzen, all members of the community are welcome to enroll.
“In the past, the class has been a wonderful intergenerational mix between Tabor students and members of the community,” Goertzen said.
Students will learn basic research and interview methods, including use of archival materials as well as government records and other historical documents to discover personal culture and to develop a family narrative.
“For a number of students, taking this class has been a life-changing experience, helping to explain and clarify their identity,” Goertzen said.
“Self-understanding is achieved when one can see the big picture, which includes research into cultural backgrounds, family stories and traditions, impact of historical events and personal interviews with family members.”
Harold Franz, a Tabor College alum from Wichita, has taken the course and found it both helpful and engaging.
“This class was a delight to take,” Franz said. “I gained insight into the resources and techniques that are available for documenting and discovering important family history.
“It is important to me and my family to record our family history and make note of the interesting individuals that are included as kin.”
Franz said shared interest in genealogy added to the class.
“It’s very interesting to interact with others who are interested in genealogy,” he said. “Peggy does an excellent job of nurturing class discussion and provides such a rich repository of knowledge.”
Three hours of college credit may be earned in the class. Those who wish to take the course but do not seek to complete a degree program may register as guest students.
For more information, contact the office of enrollment management at 620-947-3121, ext. 1723.