What do we really know?

Census-bureau

What do we really know about our ancestors?  How much of their lives are missing from our knowledge, simply because of location?

I’m a good example.  Born and raised in California, I will appear there on all five censuses from 1970 to 2010.  In 2020, however, I will be found in Texas.  Any of my descendants researching me strictly using census data would assume that I moved from California to Texas, and they will be WRONG!  (In 2012, I moved to Delaware, and in six weeks will be heading south to be closer to family.)

Think of all the things that happen in ten years – births, marriages, deaths, divorces.  When we jump to conclusions about an ancestors whereabouts, we will miss crucial details about their life’s events.  My own relocations have made me re-examine some of my assumptions about my wandering ancestors, and I need to broaden the scope of my search into additional localities to crumble some brick walls.


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