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Local History


Sunday, October 1st, 2017

It has been ages since I have posted. As we must remember when we think about our ancestors, sometimes life gets in the way—not just for us as researchers, but for the people we research. Sometimes their lives were simply filled with events, some probably good, some probably bad, that left no records behind and […]

Household Archeology

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

A week or so ago and in a round-about way, I got a question about a memorial plaque found in the ceiling of an old house during renovation and it got me thinking about the things we find that tell a little story or present a little mystery about the the places where we live. […]

Interview with Dad

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Back in March, I wrote about a wonderful conversation I had over the phone with my dad. I was looking at a Sanborn map that showed the neighborhood where he was born. I had a few questions about it for a presentation I was preparing and thought I would give him a quick ring. I […]

Taking Walks with the Census Taker and my Dad

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I’ve been preparing a new talk about maps and one of the things I will discuss is using Sanborn Maps. I have the images for my father’s home town from a few years before he was born. I also have the census that was taken a few months after he came into the world. Censuses […]

Living History

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I am always trying to get into the heads of the people that I’m researching and one of the best ways of doing that is through living history. Go out and visit a place that resembles somewhere that an ancestor lived or, if you are truly lucky, you might even find that there is some […]

Locusts on the Plains

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Is it easy to recognize historical reality versus that charming “tall tale” exaggeration that was (and still is) so common? “Streets of gold”, for example, were certainly exaggeration. Other exaggerations can be nearly as obvious. Some cases, though, can require research and careful thought to determine if they can be taken at face value or […]