At This Time and Place

Things change over time. Different places have different practices and different cultures. While most of us know this, it can be easy to forget when we are waist deep in a genealogical research problem.

Just because the first always got a larger share of his father’s estate in a specific place in 1690 does not mean that same practice was taking place in 1790. Just because your immigrant ancestors in the 1870 named children for their sponsors does not mean that their parents did the same thing in the 1840s in Ireland.

Laws change. Culture changes. Religious practices change as well. Find out what was going on at the time and place your ancestor was living. Don’t assume the only differences between you and your ancestor in 1850 was the lack of indoor plumbing and modern medicine. There were other differences as well.

Add Genealogy Tip of the Day–the book–to your bookshelf!