Pick a Date and Make a Snapshot

I’m not a big fan of “genealogy games,” but here is an activity that might get you to thinking. Pick a random date–at least 100 years in the past. Determine which of your ancestors were alive on that date, where they were probably living, and what stage in their life they were in (child, young adult, newly married, widowed, etc.).

Also think about how you know what you do about your ancestors on that date.

Learn more about research methods and sources in Casefile Clues, Michael’s newsletter.


3 thoughts on “Pick a Date and Make a Snapshot

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      Sure! That would be fine with me. Feel free to tell them you found out about it on “Tip of the Day” . Thanks.


  1. Ann

    100 years ago – I know my maternal grandmother was JUST pregnant with my mother and had a 18 month old daughter. Mama probably did not yet realize she was pregnant. My grandparents had been married 4 years and 3 weeks. They had lost their first child and only son.

    My grandfather had registered for the draft a few months prior, but was exempt because he was a farmer with a wife and 1 child.
    Documents for all, except the lost first child, as Georgia did not yet keep vital records. There is no birth record, no death record, no record of burial. Only the story told to me by my grandmother and my mother.


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