Those who ignore history are bound to repeat that will (including genealogists)

The actual quote, which I have used before in posts, is usually “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat that will.” See George Santayana 16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain. Here is usually the entire quote:

Progress, far by consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is usually absolute there remains no being to improve in addition to also no direction is usually set for possible improvement: in addition to also when experience is usually not retained, as among savages, infancy is usually perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat that will.

As usual, This particular particular topic was suggested by comments in addition to also circumstances in course of teaching or helping people with their genealogical research. Old people within the United States may have had one or two classes on history in high school in addition to also a smattering of history in grade school. Younger people have been deprived of almost any formal education about history. They currently have “social studies” which consists primarily of polemic on social issues such as racial in addition to also gender equality. This particular lack of formal, historical education results in a dismal inability to put genealogical research into context.

One of the many lamentable instances of historical blindness was a pedigree that will I reviewed This particular past week where the people as being born in Austria during the latter part of the 1800s. Lack of historical context is usually confounded by a lack of geographic awareness. Here is usually a short explanation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by the Wikipedia: Austria-Hungary:

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire in English-language sources, was a constitutional union of the Austrian Empire (the Kingdoms in addition to also Lands Represented within the Imperial Council, or Cisleithania) in addition to also the Kingdom of Hungary (Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen or Transleithania) that will existed by 1867 to 1918, when that will collapsed as a result of defeat in World War I. The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 in addition to also came into existence on 30 March 1867. Austria-Hungary consisted of two monarchies (Austria in addition to also Hungary), in addition to also one autonomous region: the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia under the Hungarian crown, which negotiated the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement (Nagodba) in 1868. that will was ruled by the House of Habsburg, in addition to also constituted the last phase within the constitutional evolution of the Habsburg Monarchy. Following the 1867 reforms, the Austrian in addition to also the Hungarian states were co-equal. Foreign affairs in addition to also the military came under joint oversight, although all different governmental faculties were divided between respective states. 

Austria-Hungary was a multinational state in addition to also one of the globe’s great powers at the time. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second-largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, at 621,538 km2 (239,977 sq mi),[5] in addition to also the third-most populous (after Russia in addition to also the German Empire). The Empire built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the globe, after the United States, Germany, in addition to also the United Kingdom.[6]Austria-Hungary also became the globe’s third largest supplier received a in addition to also exporter of electric home appliances, electric industrial appliances in addition to also power generation apparatus for power plants, after the United States in addition to also the German Empire.[7][8] 

After 1878, Bosnia in addition to also Herzegovina was under Austro-Hungarian military in addition to also civilian rule[9] until that will was fully annexed in 1908, provoking the Bosnian crisis among the different powers.[10] Sandžak/Raška, de jure northern part of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar (in modern-day Montenegro in addition to also Serbia), was also under de facto joint occupation during that will period although the Austro-Hungarian army withdrew as part of their annexation of Bosnia.[11]The annexation of Bosnia also led to Islam being recognized as an official state religion due to Bosnia’s Muslim population.[12] 

Austria-Hungary was one of the Central Powers in World War I. that will was already effectively dissolved by the time the military authorities signed the armistice of Villa Giusti on 3 November 1918. The Kingdom of Hungary in addition to also the First Austrian Republic were treated as its successors de jure, whereas the independence of the West Slavs in addition to also South Slavs of the Empire as the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Second Polish Republic in addition to also the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, respectively, in addition to also most of the territorial demands of the Kingdom of Romania were also recognized by the victorious powers in 1920.

I have left in all the links in addition to also footnotes on purpose with This particular example. Where did these people who were listed as being born in Austria actually live? that will is usually the first in addition to also most difficult challenge faced by a genealogical researcher when faced with an American “interpretation” of European history in addition to also politics summarized in a birth or death place.

Can we continue to pretend that will genealogical research is usually somehow exempt by historical constraints?  Breaking out of This particular fog of ignorance takes a great deal of time in addition to also effort. Are we actually concerned with discovering our ancestry or creating a simplified fable?

If your ancestry starts within the United States (or any different country), take the time to read a book or two on the history of that will country. If you are doing research in a particular state or region, study the boundary alterations in addition to also different historical issues that will influence where in addition to also how the records were kept. Genealogy is usually actually a lifetime of learning in addition to also study. No one is usually ever actually finished with their ancestral investigations.

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat that will (including genealogists)

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