Fans do not Function in a Vacuum

From a while back…

Every event in your ancestor’s life takes place in context. If your ancestor does something on a specific date, there may be other people doing that same thing on that same date:

  • other couples marrying on the same date as your ancestor may be relatives or close friends
  • other individuals naturalizing on the same day as your ancestor may be relatives, friends, or associates
  • men who deserted the army on the same date as your ancestor may have had a connection to him
  • people who died on the same date as your ancestor may have had the same contagious illness
  • and so on.

The commonality of the date may mean nothing. It may also be significant. Just don’t ignore it. Looking for “same day people”  is an excellent way to locate your ancestor’s friends, associates, and neighbors, what Elizabeth Shown Mills (author of Evidence Explainedcalls the FAN network.

Your ancestor didn’t live in a vacuum. Using the FAN approach requires some air <grin>.

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