Re: Who are Gateways?
- From: Nathaniel Taylor <nltaylor@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 16:45:57 -0500
At 8:09 AM +1100 2/4/12, Leo wrote:
...I intend to use the term in my system for those people who crossed the ocean from Europe to America and simply add the word royal when I know the individual has royal ancestors. Also I try to add on that line names of ships and dates when they arrived.
To use Gateway Ancestor within a country I think is too hard. ...
Leo, your database is of course your own (and we all agree that it is excellent and very useful), but to use the term 'gateway' for immigrants just because they're immigrants -- whether or not their ancestry is known -- is to ignore the primary and original genealogical definition of a 'gateway' -- one who brings significant new ancestry into a pedigree. The term is, at root, relativistic because it is does not denote an intrinsic quality of an individual, but only something retrospectively relevant to someone tracing genealogies within a group. The term is appropriate because a 'gateway' implies a passage from one side to another, and does not really say anything special about that person as a person (which is what I think you are, appropriately, seeking to do by honoring the personal qualities of immigrants as a group). Terry brings up interesting questions of subjectivity and degree (how much ancestry does a gateway have to bring in to be considered a 'gateway'? Must it include a royal line?; etc.), but these questions all presuppose the fundamental genealogical meaning inherent in its original popularization in Anthony R. Wagner's _English Genealogy_. I like to think that 'gateway' can and should be used relativistically. Eight or ten generations of traceable ancestry should quality one as a gateway if it is brought into a distinct group across the water or across a social divide. It should not necessarily imply a royal line, but in medieval genealogy, once one hits the echelon of the intermarried nobility that includes a royal line, one is virtually assured of tapping into the oldest traceable Western lines (e.g. to the Carolingians; the Saxon or early Irish kings; etc.).
I risk repeating myself. I wrote a little on the concept of gateway ancestors in my blog years ago:
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