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Monthly Archives: February 2008

cousin Wilbur and the ‘Scrubbed Goose’ (NSFW [!])

Posting Wilbur’s Air Service Command patch got me to go back over the fragments of his war memorabilia to flesh out his service. He was in England from February 1944 to July 1945, rigging parachutes at an Eighth Air Force Liberator base in Norfolk, but we didn’t know where. It now looks like he was […]

sewing for the 8th Air Force

Wilbur Floyd Whiting (1919-2006) died just over a year ago, around Christmastime. He was my grandmother’s first cousin. His mother Mamie (Marie Henriette Lembke) was my great-grandmother’s baby sister, and she and her husband Floyd were always close to my great grandparents. Wilbur, their only child, was sort of an auxiliary sibling alongside my grandmother’s […]

1st Crusade should not have succeeded…

“Why did the first Crusade succeed, and why should it not have?” I often pose this question, or one substantially like it, in exams on the Crusades, or Church history, or medieval military or political history generally. It is interesting to me how few students take the second phrase as an invitation to a moral […]

genealogy, morality and the slaving legacy

Katrina Browne’s film Traces of the Trade has now been seen at Sundance, and Thomas Norman DeWolf’s book on the subject has now come out too: Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts its Legacy as the Largest Slave Trading Dynasty in U.S. History. This is a Rhode Island story, and a genealogical one. It’s […]