Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky

AuthorJustin Swanstrom

Writer - Historian - Genealogist

Catoneras, An Indian Princess

One of my ancestors on my dad’s side was an Indian princess. Well, sort of. If you know me I know that I’m a rigorist in these matters. There are no Indian princesses because the “Indians” didn’t have royal families. And, the vast majority of these claims are hokum anyway. But Catoneras is one of those rare exceptions. Jan Cornelissen Van Tassel and his sons attested...

Can People Have Names?

Yesterday’s post about names as performance got me to thinking. Somewhere on the periphery of memory I seemed to recall a paper about a medieval debate whether people can have names. And, sure enough, I found it: Rachel Anna Bauder. Naming Particulars: A Thirteenth-Century Debate on Whether Individuals Have Proper Names. PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto, 2016. (The original link at...

Name Performance

Are names performative? That’s a new idea for me. I came across it while reading a book by Abu El-Haj about the politics of Israeli archeology: The author “specifies for the first time the relationship between national ideology, colonial settlement, and the production of historical knowledge. She analyzes particular instances of history, artifacts, and landscapes in the making to show...

Garden Church of Eden

I always loved the Episcopalian church in Eden, Wyoming but I always thought it was called Garden Church of Eden. Guess not. I did a Google search and quickly found it’s really called Oregon Trail Memorial Church. I wonder if the name might have changed. My grandparents Harry Swanstrom and Vivian (Luce) Swanstrom didn’t belong to any of the local churches, although they contributed to...

Farson History

Here’s a brief article about the history of the Eden Valley. Staff Writer. “Eden Valley Wyoming; An Early History.” Wyo4News <wyo4news.com>. Nov. 5, 2017, retrieved Jan. 2, 2020. “The majority of the settlers came into the Valley in 1907 when a large scale irrigation project under the provision of the Carey Act funded by John M. Farson, Sons and Company came to the...

Harke Luce

Recapping: Harke Luse was named on a list of men able to bear arms at Scituate, Massachusetts in 1643 (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England (1857), 191). Beyond this nothing is known. Everything else stated in various sources in speculative. Charles Banks’ Theory Banks speculated the name “Harke” might have been a copyist’s...

New mtDNA Test

I decided recently to have a Full mtDNA test at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). This is something I’ve been putting off. I had the HVR1 test at Oxford Ancestors in 1998, and another at FTDNA in 2007. In between, I also donated a blood sample to BYU. Those results ended up at the now defunct Sorenson Molecular Genetics (SMGF). I don’t have enough matches to make this more detailed test useful...

All Things Cosy

I’m intrigued by this article I found on BBC. “How did a bucolic dreamland became the perfect escape from real life? Anita Rao Kashi explores a whimsical world of nostalgia, tranquillity and folksy mysticism. A few weeks into lockdowns everywhere, a curious thing happened on Instagram feeds. More and more, they filled with images of pretty cottages adorned with climbers and flower...

Becoming Indian

I’ve been chuckling about this video for a few days now. the1491s. “I’m An Indian Too“. YouTube <youtube.com>. Sep 21, 2012, retrieved Dec. 12, 2020. So then. When the laughing subsides for a bit, I’m ready to go on with some more reading around this topic. There’s a particularly active faux Red community on Geni.com. I have a long standing interest in the...

Slaver Profits in Scotland

There has been a flurry of activity around a new study linking the Atlantic slave trade to the Highland clearances. 18th and 19th centuries. Fascinating stuff. I read the Smithsonian article first. “Sure,” I thought, “we knew this already.” Or at least some of us could easily guess. If you read history, at some point you start to notice bits and pieces that aren’t...

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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