Family Nexus – A Center Place

A Beginning

History is the sum of individual events involving PEOPLE, PLACE, and TIME. Of course, each event is not an isolated incident and is influenced by other People, other Places, and other Times.  Here at The Family Nexus we emphasize the power of place across generations and time.  This blog is a beginning of sorts for us.  But of course there were events that influenced us and led us to this point.  We are excited to begin this journey and hope that you will join us!  Maps and their modern equivalents will form the central focus of this site, with a particular emphasis on how maps can shed light on our past.  That is, maps can help us discover our own personal family history in the context of the places they lived.

The Battle_of_Bannockburn_-_Bruce_addresses_troopshistory of the human family is tied to places.  In some cases entire generations passed their lives away in a single place.  However, often this place was simply a nexus – a Center Place – and other places were also meaningful in their lives.  Perhaps they left the home fire to go hunting in search of food, or to trade or purchase needed goods or services. Perhaps they left home with their tribesmen, clansmen, or fellow citizens to far-away places in times of war. But still, despite their journeyings, their hearts were pointed back to their home and family.

Wagon_trainIn still other cases they left the comfort of home in search of a new home.  Then, in certain periods of history, there were great movements that swept up people transplanting them in a new place – moving from outlying agricultural communities to the large industrialized cities, fleeing tyranny or war-torn countries, or joining the great westward migration in the United States.  An understanding of these migrations can be very helpful in unraveling our family history.

An Invitation

The fabric of their lives was woven with the individual threads of these events in connection to other people and places.  As we follow them from place to place a clearer picture of their lives is produced. We invite you to connect with us and take a journey with us through time and place.  So, Like Us, Pin Us, Follow Us!  We hope to hear your voice in the conversation!

The Family Nexus will strengthen the bond with your family – both living and dead. The family will retain its place as the Nexus – The Center Place.

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  1. Nathan Lowry


    I’m particularly good with people and places, myself, although geographers and mapmakers have an intrinsic link to time and history (two intersecting dimensions of time and place).

    Some of the earliest records were expressions of how to get back to important places. This could be from pictures of “where did I stash the berries?” to more sophisticated ways of describing, retaining and sharing location.

    The Inuit carved driftwood or sometimes whale bone of the inlets and fjords of western Greenland, on one side of the bone for the trip up along the coastline, and the opposite cuts on the other side for the trip down.

    Ancient Andeans used Quipu to record quantities of valuables found and stored, censused and measured in the various locations across their kingdoms.

    Among the earliest of written records of portable maps were those from the Babylonians who inscribed clay tablets date to at least 500 BCE (aka BC). Wall paintings in Asia Minor (e.g. map of the city of Çatalhöyük) date back to the 7th century BCE.

    Clearly, storing information and making maps from them is not new. Yet, our ability to share that information effectively over time and space can leverage the knowledge and know-how of those whom have ever done so before us. We have wonderful capabilities that can and should continue to improve so our understanding of place and time can be more comprehensive and appreciative in addition to its pragmatic value.

    I may enjoy and like places but I love people. That’s not to say that they aren’t tough to deal with at times. Being human may be inconvenient, but it also helps us to endear and understand one another through our own difficulties.

    Using maps as a means to help people to express themselves and their understanding of their present situation over time will be a continuing challenge. Not all time-dependent information has been organized to help us understanding the unfolding of history over space in a continuous fashion.

    But the value of the effort to combine the means of expression – both quantitatively and qualitatively – of time and space by people – especially in understanding our own human history through our ancestry and down through our children cannot be understated.

    Perhaps were at the beginning of something small, but by small means, or by small moves, great things can be accomplished – or so I’ve heard…

    – Nathan Lowry
    21st Century Cartographer

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