Jumping All Over the Country?

When compiling your tree, make certain that the geography makes reasonable sense. Some individuals and families do move from one year to the next, particularly if they have difficulties finding work or are somewhat financially unstable. Some families in urban situations may move every time the rent gets so far behind that it becomes a problem.

It’s one thing to move across the street or across town from one year to the next.  When that happens addresses may change–but the county or even the parish of residence may not. It’s another thing to move more significant distances on a constant basis.

Once a correspondent had a couple jumping all over Germany for a fifteen year time period with children born in a variety of regions. It can happen. People do move.

I have one family who had children born in three different German towns–towns that were different from where the father was born. In this case the father (and his family) were millers and moved from one rented mill to another. Their occupation is mentioned in church records. Another mover was, for lack of a better phrase, a windmill mechanic in the north of Germany and moved a significant distance at least once in his life. But the rest of them? The day laborers and farm laborers moved, but usually smaller distances (at least for the most part).

In some locations and time periods, it required permission to move into a new area. People were not just allowed to “up and move” to wherever they wanted whenever they wanted. Determine if there were such rules during the time period when your movers supposedly criss-crossed an entire country.


One thought on “Jumping All Over the Country?

  1. Jan

    I thought I had a family moving every year or two way back when in Augusta County, Virginia. Augusta County was one of those counties that went “west” to the frontier, well before people settled there. As settlers came it was divided into smaller counties. Turns out, my family probably never moved, but every time an event was recorded, Augusta County had been split into other counties making it seem like my kin lived in a totally different place.
    Now matching places to maps of that era is an automatic part of my research.


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