Dipnalls and their Digital History, the Origins of a Name, a Family History and the exploration of their intriguing connections
This is a digital history project that seeks to track and revel in the journey of a humble small set of families, the origin of a name and help us make connections to gain new insights into their origins. Whilst this started with wanting to know more about the journey that led to the cluster of Dipnalls to whom we are related in Portsmouth UK, little did we know what a journey of exploration that could lead to and how it has only just begun….
This site is experimental, it seeks to extend a repertoire of digital tools to help us explore, learn, connect, share and gather an evidence base of data content and media so that we can track not just a family history and the origin of a name but the rich and varied historic paths across the centuries that led to a name that may shortly disappear migrating across continents and mirroring the history of Britain in a way that has opened up a new world of possibilities and opportunities that that we could have only hoped for when the journey began. These were not famous or very prosperous families but we are grateful for the challenge that their story and crumbs of evidence and echos across a few hundred years.
This project started with a single family tree, that asked more questions than it answered and has led to a new journey beyond the preoccupation with immediate family into a wider world and narrative that is only just beginning to develop.
The joy is that it is the process of discovery of data, the aggregation and analysis of patterns and connections that drives the development of the project and it is only from that and the adoption of principles observed and emerging in Data Journalism that has provided the impetus, evolving and often tangential directions (such as they are) that this project is pursuing or being pursued by. With each data point a little piece of knowledge a brief glimpse and the need to find out more, zooms us in and out of time and topics and sets us on a new episode viewed from this Tardus.
Maps Timelines Places, Names, Dates, Chronologies, Histories Family, Social, local and Global are all intertwined, is this what they mean by the phrase “Digital Humanities”? Whatever it is it is great fun for us, honestly and earnestly pursued and we hope to share it and what we all find out along our way with anyone who takes a glimpse or has the time and inclination to maybe think about extending their own family history.
It is dedicated to the generations of the Dipnall’s we have been lucky enough to love and laugh with, many of whom have moved far beyond this world now and in the vague hope that with a new generation emerging, with the genes if not the name, that they may take a little of the courage and love of life those generations shared with us forward and shape and fashion their rich, original and varied lives to come.
A darling friend of 40+ years got me started on this course of action, she knows who she is and she has a lot to answer for and I thank her for lighting the blue touch paper and continuing this and many other intriguing connections along the way!