Am I Crossing A Border?

For the first few years of my research, I worked on my very rural families who were generally of low-German or US Southern origin. I became fairly adept at researching them.

Then I started work on my urban families, my New England families, and my families from the south of Germany. Rules that I thought were “always true,” weren’t. Naming patterns that I were familiar with didn’t apply any more. There were new records that I was able to utilize. There were problems that I did not encounter before.

Whenever your research crosses a border, be it

  • geographic
  • cultural
  • policital
  • chronological
  • religious
  • social

keep in mind that some of how you research may change. What works in Chicago in 1880 might not work in frontier Ohio in 1817 or in rural Illinois in 1870.

And it certainly won’t work that way in the north of England in 1650.