I stumbled today upon the name of my father’s 4H group he was a member of in the 1950s–the Elvaston Strait-Shooters. There were 4H clubs nearer to where they lived and the reason he and his brother were members of this group instead of one of the nearby ones has been lost to history.

There are a variety of organizations–including church–where your ancestor may not have attended the nearest one. There are many reasons your ancestor may have not attended the nearest church of her denomination. Your ancestor may have been a Mason, but may have been active in a group that was not nearest to where he lived. Sometimes people have a falling out with the nearby group (or church) and change their membership. Sometimes people move away, but choose to remain a member of the group they were initially a member of.

But don’t assume that your ancestor was a member of the nearest “local unit” of his club or organization. He may not have been.



One response

  1. Most of Frankfort, IL where my great-great-grandparents settled in the late 1840s was German speaking. The German Reformed church used only German until it closed in the 1980s or 1990s. My great-grandmother wanted all of her family to be English speakers, so they all became Methodists because that church used only English. My grandfather knew a few German curse words, & his English was certainly accented, but the transition of the family’s religion had nothing to do with religious belief but with language.

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