When I inherited my Grandfathers genealogical research oh so many years ago, my one thought and goal was to find the earliest relatives I could. Digging into the past was fun. Watching the timeline tick back to the 1800’s, 1700’s the 1600’s and then… into the brick wall. It didn’t matter though as there were other branches to follow.
As I kept searching and learning more about all the different records, I began to see little bits of information here and there that began to intrigue me more than just when someone was born.
I find my ancestors street addresses listed on the census and in other city directories fascinating. I will use street view on google to see what is there now, realizing of course that city plans change over time.
Sue and I were in Philadelphia once and drove to the neighborhood where my Mother’s Grandfather lived when he first came over from Hungary. We were definitely on the wrong side of the tracks in today’s day and age, evidenced by the strange woman speaking in tongues at us (or was that Hungarian?) Well lets just say that it made us glad we were only passing through. I have always loved maps and my list of research projects include looking at older city and town maps to see where people lived.
The bit of information that I find most intriguing though also can be found on census records (as well as many other places,) and that is ‘Occupation.’
My Family has done a lot. There is a Postmaster, a Butcher and a Baker but no Candlestick maker as of yet. There are several Carpenters, Home Makers, Farmers, and even a Fireman. What must it have been like to be a fireman in 1916?
Imagine stepping back into their shoes and into their daily lives, pondering what drives them forward. This is the information for me that brings a person to life and that is the magic which I seek.