In another page of this wiki, entitled ‘Caught a Crabbe’, I give a personal example of how we can enrich our connections with people and places through a mixture of tribal genetics and neighbourliness. This idea, which combines kinship with placeship, starts with the proposition that genealogy always produces dead ends when the methodology of dovetailing people with a sequence of dates fails through lack of unambiguous records. Yet genealogical connections with place offer the best starting point for putting down physical and imaginative roots.

The actual story of 'Caught a Crabbe' involves my process of mapping a personal cultural connection with the famous poet George Crabbe, who was born in the Suffolk village of Aldeburgh, the same town as my great grandfather, but a hundred years earlier. The kinship connection is through a branch my mother's family, the Suffolk Kemps. The genealogical link was made when George married Sarah Elmy December 15th 1783 in the market town of Beccles. Sarah was the daughter of James Elmy, a tanner, and Sarah Tovell. Sarah Tovell was the sister of John Tovell of Parham, a village a few miles south of Beccles. The Tovells had been established as gentleman farmers in Parham for more than two hundred years. John Tovell's wife was Jenny Kemp, my first cousin 6 times removed. The Kemps were long-standing neighbours of the Parham Tovells. Therefore, although there is no genetic link between myself and George Crabbe, the Kemps, Crabbes and Tovells shared the environments of Aldeburgh and Parham and the social conditions common to 18th century middle class agrarian families. Crabbe’s poetic picture of Aldeburgh is of a remote closed social self-sufficient gossipy fishing community. His poem The Borough is a wind-whipped story of the small-town rumour-mongering community behind Aldeburgh's serene pastel street facades. It was an image that I am sure my grandfather Kemp would have recognised, and from which he eventually escaped to become a master mariner.

A general discussion of placeship can be found in the Hyperbox Club, which I created as a toolkit for making a ‘cabinet of hypermedia curiosities’ to lodge verbalised and visualised experiences of environment. As a collection of digital artefacts they encapsulate links between culture, place and nature. In particular, in the page, Who owns India?, I have drawn upon the idea of Teresa Hubel that places are more than geographical entities. For example, she says that if India existed solely as a territorial possession, a piece of property, the answer to the question, Who owns India might be simple. Whoever rules India, owns it. Prior to 1947, when the administrative machinery of the British Empire was still intact, the ruler/owner was undoubtedly England. The English controlled its central and provincial governments, dictated its politics and economics, and mapped out its boundaries. Insofar as one country can own another, she says that then, England owned India. The wider counterpoint is that individuals can also own India. As evidence, she points out that Salman Rushdie describes it as a "new myth -a collective fiction"; V. S. Naipaul calls it "a wounded civilization"; and Edwin Arnold asserted, "I declare myself not so much her friend as her lover"? My contribution to this idea of literary ownership was to illustrate how Kipling, in his novel ‘Kim’, took possession of Lahore.

To Hubel, this mixture of geography, kinship and imagination is clear evidence that reality extends beyond its geographical presence. Her view is that “The imperialist connotations traditionally implicit in the word 'own' are hardly erased by this broadening of the epistemic boundaries of India. On the contrary, the potential for appropriating India increases when it is recognized as a property of the imagination” __

I have developed the breadth and depth of this deep and potent idea of linking kinship with placeship, in all its breadth and depth in the following sites.

This wikipage you are now reading is an introduction to a kind of open-ended genealogy demanded by placeship by selecting groups of Lincolnshire families with the surname Bellamy to illustrate the principles and their potential for rooting people in their local environment.

It is Work in Progress

Continue with the 'Gingerbeer Bellamys'