Community histories can prove invaluable, adding biographical data to your family history, or even a greater understanding of the community you presently live in. Let our team of experienced professional researchers help!
Going Beyond Names & Dates: Tracing Community Histories
Most people have heard about notable events like the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871, the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989, or the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 that was a global disaster. But what about that town where your ancestors lived, or where you live now? What happened there? When was the community started? What religion was pre-dominant? When did they open their first school? What did people do for work there? How did major historical events affect the livelihood of the people who lived there?
Learning more about the history of the community your ancestor(s) lived in, especially surrounding the specific time period that your ancestor lived in that place, can be very interesting, and can add a lot of depth to your family history.
Using Records to Compile Community Histories
There are variety of sources available to help piece together a community history. Newspapers from that town or the surrounding area can be one of the best sources for learning details about that location. Other helpful sources include county histories, city directories, land transactions, military records, and other documents that might be unique to that particular time and place.
Even census records can help, especially for locations in the United States. Depending on the year, censuses recorded things like “amount of rent/mortgage”, “how much money did you make last year?”, “do you own a radio?”, etc. By looking at the census pages for all people who lived in a given location, you can get an idea of how affluent that community or neighborhood was, and what the predominant ethnicities, ages, and occupations were.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
Whether you’re wondering about the community your ancestors lived in, or if you’re interested in compiling the history of a specific community for other reasons, our team of professional genealogists can help. With years of experience gleaning every piece of information from each record, we know the best places to look to find and tie together the details that will help paint a picture of that community.