LONDON-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON > 2004-09 > 1096368501
From: "Phil Jacombs" <>
Subject: Fw: [Lon] try again to send this
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 20:48:21 +1000
Over many months I have seen postings on this list which I have thought went
beyond not only the "spirit" of such lists, but have often been derogatory
in nature and petty in content. Until today, I have chosen to shrug my
shoulders and let them pass without comment.
Having read and re-read the posting below, I feel that I cannot now remain
silent after such a pontificating, self-serving and ultimately cruel epistle
reached this forum.
Of all the other Rootsweb lists to which I belong, NONE would allow such a
posting to go without an immediate request to withdraw. All of them take
pride in fostering members' desire and attempts to conduct PERSONAL
research. NONE would portray themselves as professional bodies, being
measured and maintained by professional standards.
I refuse to answer all except one of the assertions and turgid imputations
in this posting. I can ASSURE you that my wife, the trainee surgeon, is FAR
You, sir, have brought disgrace on yourself and the profession you seek to
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carolyn" <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 8:25 PM
Subject: [Lon] try again to send this
> This what I got to night,
> trying to find where, there may be a list of Dr in 1800's, in London,
> I also have a G Grandfather who was a drugest, 1883 from TB,
> His Father had died before 1870
> I am off the hurly burly of newsgroups until my health is stabilised for
> long enough. Occasionally I trawl through Google and find something
> particularly relevant. Yours quoted above is one.
> I've seen Hugh's good advice, especially about spelling.
> My advice would be to give up genealogy altogether unless either you pay
> somebody to do the searching (I'm not offering) or get yourself sorted
> on the basics.
> You should start by finding the GENUKI website and reading the newbie
> guide written by Roy Stockdill, a frequent contributor to
> soc.genealogy.britain. It is well-known that Roy and I disagree
> fundamentally on ethical principles and procedures, so you cannot get a
> better recommendation on his technical writing than mine.
> Next, buy and use a dictionary and a map. If push comes to shove and you
> cannot afford either, then use the spell-checker on your computer, use
> dictionaries and maps available online through the very keyboard you use
> to type your emails, and use Google.
> Second, try to understand the meaning and use of terms. On 'Doctor', NZ
> has the same usage as UK.
> Most medical practitioners who are called 'Doctor' are not in fact
> entitled to be so called. They are given the honorific by the public in
> a way no university would approve. A Doctor of a university is somebody
> who has presented and defended a substantial thesis based on original
> research. The title indicates no more than that the university thinks
> the person is capable of contributing to the development of their
> subject independently and without a tutor. There is no limitation on
> subject. One can get a doctorate in any subject recognised by the
> My own doctorate is a genuine one recognised by a university. It happens
> to be in chemistry. It could have been in anthropology or in any other
> of the further four subjects in which I have reached the solo researcher
> standard, but could not be bothered to write a thesis.
> Perversely, and surgeons are a perverse lot, any surgeon who gets a
> doctorate in the proper sense will make sure not to use the title.
> Traditionally, all consultant surgeons are called Mr, unless they are
> elevated to Sir. That is regardless of their degrees.
> 'Druggists', better known as 'pharmacists' are often referred to as
> 'chemists' by the public. They are not the same thing at all. Until
> quite recently, pharmacy was not a university subject. It was a trade
> learned through an apprenticeship with an existing pharmacist, and by
> taking part-time education leading (in the UK) to examinations of The
> Pharmaceutical Society. If the apprentice completed his time and passed
> his exams he could put MPS after his name, and function independently as
> a pharmacist. It was illegal to present oneself in public as a
> pharmacist if not on the current roll of MPS held by the PS.
> In some senses my sympathies are with the public in their misuse of
> names and titles. For example. I started as the Saturday boy in a
> pharmacy at the age of 14. I was a competent dispenser by the age of 19
> and could have become a pharmacist. I read chemistry instead. My
> doctorate was in medicinal organic chemistry. I went on to get a medal
> in medical anthropology. By that time I was teaching in a medical school
> where I founded a drug research laboratory. I founded another lab in
> Africa. I learned a lot of medicine in college and from witchdoctors in
> South America and East Africa. I used the medical knowledge to dose
> myself and others while on expeditions. I also did a bit of elementary
> surgery. Had I done either in 'civilisation' I would have been, rightly,
> up on criminal charges because although I'm entitled to be called Doctor
> I am not a registered medical practitioner. Those of us who have worked
> across subject boundaries are responsible for a lot of confusion in the
> minds of a public which expects people to stick to one trade.
> Now add the time dimension. I am not a supermodern polymath. I'm
> actually a throwback to a very much earlier time when subjects were not
> defined and separated. When it was nothing special for a medical
> practitioner to be his own pharmacist, to be a preacher in church on
> Sunday, and to relax at night with a bit of astronomy. The further back
> you go, the more likely you'll find the same person described in
> different ways on different occasions. As you go back in time you need
> to leave behind the categories in which you think today.
> It is probably not relevant that a fellow postgraduate student at
> Birkbeck College in my time was a Clive Bird. He later became Dr C W
> Bird and finally Prof C W Bird at King's College, London. Apart from
> being a chemist, Clive was an orchid expert.
> Incidentally, if you come across any MOODY in NZ, don't bother to tell
> me. It is my legal name but came about by adoption and therefore has
> nothing to do with my genealogy. My two lines most strongly associated
> with NZ are BAIN and McGLASHAN.
> Genealogy can be interesting, but only if you pay the price you have to
> pay in any -logy. You have to be prepared to do the hard work of
> learning and thinking in order to reach the standard where you can
> perform usefully. There are no easy answers, regardless of what
> television programmes and certain American organisations may say.
> The apparently easy answer of paying someone else to do it may yield a
> sparse genealogy. A list of names and dates of ancestors. Even if all
> correct (exceedingly unlikely) this will not yield a 'rich' genealogy.
> Richness comes of knowing the people as people, of knowing how and why
> they lived their lives, of knowing what happened to collateral lines. Of
> knowing about the health in life and the causes of death of all those
> people. The latter might illuminate your own health and that of any
> descendants you have. You can also get hold of pictures of ancestral
> lands, even if you cannot afford to go there.
> When I asked my uncle Andy BAIN why so many BAIN had emigrated from a
> small part of Scotland he replied 'Just bloody go there at the end of
> October. Don't spend more than a week, else you might be snowed in until
> Easter.' I went. It didn't need a week on bleak and bitterly cold
> granite to see why so many went elsewhere. Or to appreciate why the
> family ran an (illegal) whisky still for well over a century. They
> couldn't have survived being snowed in for 6 months at temperatures
> lower than -20 degC if they hadn't had an ample supply of warming
> liquor. I wouldn't have found out that motivation for emigration from a
> mere list of births, marriages, and deaths.
> Dr D P Moody, Ashwood, Exeter Cross, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon,
> England TQ12 6EY
> Tel: +44(0) 1626 821725 Fax: +44(0) 1626 824912
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