Vocatus Genealogy


Why Vocatus?

There seems to be a lot of factors driving the urge to collect extended family information: curiosity, the skeletons in the closet, the famous relative on the wall, the fear of being forgotten, familial self-consciousness, the eternal nurture/nature discussion or simply keeping track of all those grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Computer driven data bases have simplified the task so that terms like family tree, lineage, genealogy, ancestry or history, overlap. The old chart with the names of the great-great-great grandparents engraved on the trunk, supporting all those branches is a very limited application. The better metaphor is a sprawling vine. Any leaf can be an epicenter, rippling in all directions.

Since the software can discriminate the quality and intensity of relationships, "significant other" or "sharing a household" seems minimally adequate to cling to the wall.

Thus we have the problem of how do you name a site like this that contains multiple families, generations, languages and cultures? It is an amorphous virtual mass that at any given moment can veer off and encompass a whole new or very old clan.

Searching for a single thread in what we know about our genealogical community today, religion seems to be the only common factor that emerges, one way or another, if only by rejection, among the families and persons that make up our lineage as we perceive it today.

Well then, where do you get a single short word so the site name will be remembered, yet is not a registered domain name and can be construed to include everyone but offend no one?

Carl Gustav Jung, in his vast studies, came across a Latin phrase, attributed to the Renaissance scholar, Erasmus, and was so taken with it; he had it carved over the entrance to his home and on his tomb stone:

"Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit."

Translation: "Called or not called god appears." Or more accurately: "Having been called and not having been called, (a) god will be present".

The phrase is purposely ambiguous. The lower case "deus" can refer to the monotheistic God, or the whole panoply of the Greek gods, and that opens up a religious discussion where there is room for everyone, exactly what is desired. Goethe is reputed to have said, "As a moralist I am a monotheist, as an artist a polytheist, as a naturalist I am a pantheist."

We chose the Latin word "vocatus" which is the perfect passive participle of the Latin verb "to call" and can best be translated, "having been called".

One does not choose one's family. One is called.

Welcome to the Vocatus Genealogy Site, dedicated to Liliana Tuzzolo Burns who dearly loved all her families.

John E. Burns
February 23, 2004