2017 Meeting Programs
June 1st Program Details
Featured Speaker: John Caknipe, Jr.
"Lunacy and the Paranormal"
The program for the June 1, 2017 meeting of the Granville County Genealogical Society will be presented by Mr. John Caknipe, Jr. He will discuss "The early Virginia lunacy laws, judicial focus, treatment options and the registry of lunatics: a case study, Mecklenburg County, Virginia 1765 through 1943." John will discuss his new book about the subject "Lunacy and the Paranormal".
Since 2007, Caknipe has researched and written about the evolution of the Piedmont area writing weekly columns titled "Unsung Heroes" and "Remember the Gray." His work was featured in a volume of the Virginia Biography series as well as the credits for the PBS television series "Finding Your Roots" and he appeared on the NBC television series "Who Do You Think You Are?" He is also the author of Images of America: Around Clarksville, Around South Hill and Chase City and Preachers, Teachers and Confederate Officers: Randolph Macon College -- The Early Years 1830 to 1868.
His current book on Lunacy and Paranormal in the Piedmont focuses on Mecklenburg County but also includes Granville County. Quoting from the book: "The world as we perceive it is only our perception. Each individual has different perceptions based on numerous factors. Psychology has provided a model of what is acceptable behavior in our social world and what is to be considered outside the limits of "reality," (abnormal). One Oxford, NC story: "When the trial took place Dr. Puryear was shown to be mentally unbalanced, and the court ordered him committed to an asylum (Dix Hospital). Two years later he escaped and went west. Puryear became insane from dipsomania (insanity from drink). One colored witness said that he knew Dr. Puryear and that he had been crazy all his life… asked how did he know ... insane. The affiant said he would whoop and holler and dance."
A Southside Virginia native, John Caknipe received graduate degrees from Siena Heights College, Eastern Michigan University and International Graduate School. A college professor for over forty years, he is now retired. A decorated, Special Forces, U.S. Army, disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, John Caknipe and his wife, Betty, live in Clarksville, VA.
Please join members of the Granville County Genealogical Society in attending this meeting, to be held at 6:30 P.M. on June 1, 2017 in the conference room at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, N.C. All GCGS meetings are open to the public, and visitors and guests are always cordially invited to attend.