As anyone who has performed genealogy or local history research can attest, there are often realms of the past that we did not know about, have forgotten, or simply do not understand. Nevertheless, it is imperative to determine how this type of local-level information can be stored and made accessible.
Posts Tagged ‘genealogy research’
When conducting genealogical research on your family, understanding the life and times of your ancestors is more than just who they were and when they were born and died. Situating your ancestors in history, both local and national, can help clue you in to more about their daily lives and about some of the decisions they may have faced during their time. In addition, knowing about the historical context that these men and women faced can provide vital clues that can help you unearth more information about them than by just conducting random searches.
What is historical context? Historical context is the elements that permeate the lives of every living person; the local history of where they were born, the events that may have shaped their lives, and the living conditions that often can provide some measure of explanation about who they were as people. For example, if you know in advance that the local county courthouse burned down and that many records were destroyed, you will know that you will have to find other avenues to locate records and documents that you might need.
In recent years, the popularity of TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” has brought genealogy back into the spotlight, but many people (including librarians!) have no idea where to begin. While there are many fantastic books out there on the subject of genealogy research, many individuals just don’t have the time to read and digest all of this information.