Monthly Archives: November 2013

Time Can Be Crucial

Think about the materials you would like to access to learn  more about your family’s history. Don’t just prioritize based upon how much information something could potentially provide. Also consider the fragility of the source. Some sources, particularly the minds of relatives, photographs, and tombstones are more fragile than other records.

Prioritize.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInShare

Time Can Be Crucial

Think about the materials you would like to access to learn  more about your family’s history. Don’t just prioritize based upon how much information something could potentially provide. Also consider the fragility of the source. Some sources, particularly the minds of relatives, photographs, and tombstones are more fragile than other records.

Prioritize.

The Microdynamics of Death

When your ancestor died at what stage in life were his children? Were they toddlers, teenagers, or grown children with their own families? Was your recently deceased ancestor a farmer whose oldest son was in his early twenties and possibly able to manage the farm himself–perhaps arguing with his mother? And perhaps even old enough to start a partition suit if he so desired? Or were his children under the age of ten and, while able to help, were not really able to bring any type of legal action?

Or did the death of one aged spouse mean that the surviving spouse was no longer really able to live by herself or himself?
In most families what’s going on at the “family level” when something happens is just as important as what is going on at the national level.

Anne, Ann, Annie: One Needs to Clarify

When relatives have the same first and last name it is easy to get them confused. It is even worse when the name gets spelled or written in various ways.

In a recent blog post, I referred to Anne and Annie Murphy–sisters-in-law. To make matters worse, Anne signed her name as “Ann” in a document and I transcribed the document exactly as it was written.

To clarify in my discussion what I should have done was either used their maiden name Annie (Murphy) Neill and Anne (Brice) Neill or their husband’s name, Annie Neill (wife of Samuel) or Anne Neill (wife of Joseph) to distinguish them.