Today Diana and I are going to wrap up our discussion of locality research. In last week’s episode we talked about the first two question to ask: “What happened?” and “Where did it happen?” Today, we are talking about the last question: “Why did it happen?” This episode is all about the historical context that affected our ancestors lives. What is your favorite way to learn about historical context? We suggest several ideas, including county histories, biographical sketches, periodicals, and newspapers.
Diana tells how she found a county history that explained why her ancestors moved around so much within Indian Territory. I am going to share an example of how I ordered a regimental history for my first project in the Research Like a Pro study group and how that helped me find the answer to my research question. Diana talks about PERSI and how the articles in the index are being digitized. They are an excellent resource for understanding the history of a location.
Newspapers are a huge part of locality research. They can give you clues for more records about your ancestors, but can also reveal what it was like to live during that time period. I’m excited to share my story of researching in the British Newspaper archive’s website and the shocking information I found about my black sheep ancestor.
We’ll also go over how to create a locality guide in more depth so you can get started on that assignment.
To sign up for the Research Like a Pro Study Group or eCourse, click here. The sale on the eCourse ($89) and study group ($150) ends August 19. That’s $10 off each! Registration ends Aug 31.
- Purchase our book Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide on Amazon to receive the locality guide template.
- Research Like a Pro Part 3: Where Did They Live? blog post by Diana
- Google Books
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Internet Archive
- Pioneers of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory by Nova A. Lemons
- WorldCat for finding histories to order through inter-library loan
- PERSI (periodical source index) at FindMyPast
- Chronicling America – Historic American Newspapers
- The Ancestor Hunt website
- Newspapers.com, an Ancestry.com website
- Genealogy Bank
- British Newspaper Archive
- Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States (this is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we receive a commission).
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