Contemporary Time and Travel

Sometimes we overlook an easy solution because we get stuck in one way to solve a problem. For me it was staring at a word that I could not read.

Years ago I was trying to read the village of residence for one of the sponsors on a baptism in a Catholic church in the 1780s. The name of the Belgian village could only be partially read. Then it dawned on me. The village where the sponsor lived had to be near the village where the child was baptized. The child was only a few days old and the reality was that the sponsor lived close to the village where the ceremony took place.

Sure enough, armed with names of nearby villages I was able to interpret the location’s name.

Remember the speed of communication and transportation during the time period of your research. We can easily get trapped in the “what does this say?” abyss and end up overlooking easy solutions to our problems.