Thesis

Stronger Than Family: Framing Modern-Day Seamen as Figurative Descendants of Nineteenth Century Merchant Mariners Buried at the Presidio of San Francisco

Purpose of the Study: This thesis tests the hypothesis that, in the absence of known descendants, modern-day merchant mariners can and ought to be considered a descendant community for those buried at a Nineteenth-century Merchant Marine Cemetery (MMC) in the Presidio of San Francisco. Using ethnographic interviews, this project explores interest in learning about the MMC via archaeological methods. This project will help to guide the Presidio Trust as they continue to manage the MMC in trust for the public.
 Methods: This study used ethnographic principles to develop, conduct and analyze eight ethnographic interviews. The analysis of these interviews provides the data for this thesis. Findings: Analysis of the interviews demonstrates that modern-day seamen ought to be considered a descendant community for the MMC, and argues that, were excavation to occur, the living community would best be served by a bioarchaeological study which focuses on the theme of labor.
 Conclusions: This project presents a model for using ethnographic interviews to identify a descendant community for a historic cemetery whose inhabitants have no easily identifiable descendants.

Purpose of the Study: This thesis tests the hypothesis that, in the absence of known descendants, modern-day merchant mariners can and ought to be considered a descendant community for those buried at a Nineteenth-century Merchant Marine Cemetery (MMC) in the Presidio of San Francisco. Using ethnographic interviews, this project explores interest in learning about the MMC via archaeological methods. This project will help to guide the Presidio Trust as they continue to manage the MMC in trust for the public. Methods: This study used ethnographic principles to develop, conduct and analyze eight ethnographic interviews. The analysis of these interviews provides the data for this thesis. Findings: Analysis of the interviews demonstrates that modern-day seamen ought to be considered a descendant community for the MMC, and argues that, were excavation to occur, the living community would best be served by a bioarchaeological study which focuses on the theme of labor. Conclusions: This project presents a model for using ethnographic interviews to identify a descendant community for a historic cemetery whose inhabitants have no easily identifiable descendants.

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