Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Period research

Children Playing Outside
Fashions in 1910?  Why not?

Whatever helps you to understand your 1910 ancestor and his family is something that you should actively pursue!

For example, looking at newspapers from the era, (the grocery ads will shock you at how high prices have risen over the years) are another way to get in touch.

Occasionally, you might have the opportunity to get your hands on some letters that your folks received, diaries, journals, and/or photographs help; take that opportunity and get a glimpse of how  they lived their lives. Gather recipes and traditions where possible!

Family day trips and/or striking out on your own to visit museums and libraries is educational and fun.  Look for relics, monuments, and county histories.  Also, look for art and paintings that were created in that period or whose subject is about life "back when".

What began with my examination of relatives in a 1910 Census, has become so much more than I could have imagined.  Documents and records research can get a little dry, sometimes, but it is an essential step in the process.  Make sure you wring the truth, the facts, and the words between the lines from your original sources (see below). 
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 To make sense of records that mention your ancestor or a member of your ancestor's household, you can utilize one or all of the following methods:
  •  Pull the facts from the record and put them in an Excell type spreadsheet. (LibreOffice is available if you don't have Microsoft Office).
  • Enter the information in a genealogical software program. The beauty of a software program is that it can manipulate data and print out reports of various types and kinds.
  •  Either use your software program to create a narrative report or just write the narrative yourself using the facts.  Reading the narrative will kind of "cement" in your mind a picture of the family dynamic and/or, also prompt you to assess whether the record makes "common" sense and calculate whether it all adds up, chronologically.  
  • Use a variety of charts (paper, or digital) or create your own chart.  The "flow chart" exists for a purpose and well established genealogical practices have produced charts that will capture your attention, graphically.  Free charts are available online in a number of locations and you can search for those sites using Google or your fave search engine. 

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