Monday, March 22, 2010

History for Genealogists

This posting is a day early this week because tomorrow morning I leave for the Public Library Association Annual Conference. Hopefully I will bring back some great new ideas and information on genealogy services and materials to better serve you.
Meanwhile, have you prepared time lines for the people in your family tree? This is a great way to see gaps in the information you have for each person and make a research list. Also, you can compare these to actual timelines in history so you can get clues as to where you might search for more information on your ancestor. In the book History for Genealogists: using chronological time lines to find and understand your ancestors by Judy Jacobson (Clearfield Publishing, copyright 2009) you can take a look at time lines for each state, military action, migration, or social shift and see where your people might fit in. For example one time line shows a heavy migration of loyalists from the colonies to Canada in 1784, and from Virginia and the Carolinas to Alabama in 1810-20. Another gives the dates of the inception and key events of each labor union in the colonies and United States. In 1649 the shoemakers and coopers in Boston formed guilds. If you had an ancestor there at that time you could seek out the records for this group and see if he was a member. The state timeline for AL notes that in 1702 the capital of Louisiana was moved by the French near what is now Mobile, AL. In 1810 migrations from TN to Northern AL began. In 1803-11 a federal road was constructed from Milledgeville, Ga to Fort Stoddert, north of Mobile.
Come take a look at this source to see what you might be missing in the lives of your ancestors. You can find it at R Gen 929.1 JAC

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for providing this valuable service. My ancestors, the Beverlys and Vances, were Peters Colony settlers. I live outside of Seattle, and your insight is particularly helpful for me since I'm not able to research in the library itself.

    Melanie Henry