Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Genealogy of Communities: Fishing Camps

By definition a camp is defined as "temporary" living quarters. Many of those housed in camps were making their way to a new life, most were single, and women were few. In her most recent article, "The Genealogy of Communities: Fishing Camps," Judy Rosella Edwards explores the nature of fishing camps and suggests ways to back-track individuals who may have been found in these camps. Skilled workers, for example, may be found plying the same trade in their place of origin, as noted on the census. As fishing camps were "a haven for new immigrants," the article suggests ways of narrowing an ancestor's place of origin through ship manifests. Ideas are also provided for tracking an ancestor forward in time, as they build new lives.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Turning Michigan-Canadian Research Upside Down

Through a series of examples, in her article, "Turning Michigan-Canadian Research Upside Down," Judy Rosella Edwards illustrates her thesis that "Immigrants did not always follow a straight and obvious route. Michigan-Canada migrations create an intriguing panorama of people on the move. Browsing through biographies from the 1800s it becomes obvious that arrivals from the Old World traipsed back and forth between the United States and Canada." The article also shows how an understanding of the early geography can direct or redirect research.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Strategies for tracking a disappearing ancestor

We all have one or more disappearing ancestors who "are there one census and, like magic, have disappeared the next." My second-great-grandfather is one such ancestor. For forty years we can track him with surety; then, after 1860 he drops from the record entirely. And while we can track the migration of his children from East Tennessee to Texas, we find no record of him. It is reasonable to assume he died between 1860 and 1870, except no record can be found. Also, because he remarried after his first wife's death, and at last record we find him living in Virginia with his second wife, in close proximity to some of her children, it's a distinct possibility that if he did migrate, it was with her family. So the next step is tracking totally unrelated family members in order to find any clue to this elusive ancestor; and this we have been attempting to do, but with no success thus far, given the common names of family members. But the search continues. In her article "Where Did They Go," Melissa Slate outlines the problem of disappearing ancestors and offers good advice on understanding possible reasons for their disappearance and key strategies for tracking them.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Revisiting our research brings comfort and encouragement

While we do not think of people moving from one place to another today as migrating in the sense that our ancestors did, en mass over dusty trails, suffering many hardships and even death, we are nonetheless a moving people. Modern travel makes it so much easier, and yet, relocating is not without its challenges. In her article, "Inspired and Encouraged by Our Ancestors," Vicki Boartfield recounts her own recent move across country and how she turned to the stories of her ancestors to find comfort and encouragement.

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