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The Psychology of Searching with Dr.Penny Walters

  • Broadcast in History



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Dr. Penny Walters, author of The Psychology of Searching (Amazon, 2020) asks why is compiling a family tree now such a popular hobby. We will look at kinship, homelands, ethnicity, becoming obsessed with searching, race memory, and putting all the pieces in our jigsaw. Why do we research ancestors we share so little DNA with? Are we searching for who they were, or who we are?

Once we have started our search, some discoveries reveal painful realities (including injustices and enslavement), uncovering our relatives’ secrets and lies, and numerous ethical dilemmas can arise. These are covered in depth in the book Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy’(Amazon, 2019).  

Dr. Penny Walters has been a University lecturer for 30 years in Psychology and Business Studies. Penny's interest in genealogy started after having her first child and then wondering about her biological parents, as she was adopted. DNA testing has revealed 94% Irish heritage; and fascinating insights into her Black British children’s African heritage. Penny lectures internationally and writes articles about a variety of genealogy topics including ethical dilemmas, the psychology of searching, ethnicity and identity, adoption, and Irish heritage. Penny has lectured at Roots Tech London and USA; APG PMC; Brigham Young University; throughout Ireland; nationally and regionally at UK events; Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), the Society of Australian Genealogists and Vivid-Pix.


Music: Sweet Mellow Spice with AK Alexander