Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ancestral Tunnel Vision

Many new researchers make the mistake of only looking at their family's household when researching the census. I'm sure I was guilty of having "ancestral tunnel vision" when I first began researching in 1994. Somewhere along the way I read that researchers should look at the neighbors of their ancestors on the census, perhaps five pages before and after the household. Studying the neighborhood could enable researchers to learn about possible new family or about the surnames in the community.

Studying the neighborhood of my ancestors has been highly beneficial to my research and I have found new family members as well as pinpointed the land they were living on during the years some of them did not own their own land. This method was especially helpful in studying the 1870 and 1880 censuses where I researched the landowners in my ancestor's communities.

Angela Walton-Raji has done a video on the Study of Your Ancestor's Community. I hope that this will give you further knowledge about the benefits of community research.

1 comment:

Mavis said...

I was presented with the Ancestor Approved Award, and I am passing it on to you.

You can pick it up at Conversations with my Ancestors.