So maybe Grandpa didn't run off and join the circus, after all. Maybe he ran off and joined a faith-based community. In many cases family members did abandon families to join some sort of community or communal organization. There's definitely a story in there: Did he or she leave the family because the faith required it, did the family choose to stay behind, or did the family reject the person adopting a particular faith? Whatever the reason, when a family member drops off the radar, researchers might want to consider the possibility. In her article, "Genealogy Communities: Faith-based Organizations
," Judy Rosella Edwards explores the nature of these communities and how they might be researched. Oh, by the way -- my father did run off an join a circus . . . but he came back . . . and married my mother. The rest, they say, is history.
Labels: communes, non-traditional or intentional communities, religious organizations