1950 U.S. federal census records are going to be released for public view this year, because it has now been 72 years since that census was taken, and the National Archives follows what is known as the 72-Year Rule. The story of why the 72-Year Rule exists is an example of how history actually happens … Continue reading The 72-Year Rule: How History Happens
2022 is a big year for censuses! The 1921 census of England and Wales was released in January, and the 1950 USA census will be released in April. If you have done any genealogy research yourself, you will no doubt be aware of the wealth of information available from old census records. Genealogists get very … Continue reading An Exciting Year for Genealogists!
I am still working on getting my right hand back to full functionality, after having broken my wrist several months ago, but I can more or less type now! I’m pretty excited about that, because it makes it easier to work on the sequel to The Moving Pictures. It’s called The Leading Ladies, and I … Continue reading Happy New Year!
We frequently hear about how much more mobile people are now than in previous eras. Technological developments have made travel and communication easier, so people move around more. I’m sure in many ways that’s true, but I have found that even though moving was more difficult before, people did it pretty often anyway. When I … Continue reading How Genealogy Debunks Myths About History, #3: Moving House
The book I talked about in my last post is now available, so far only in ebook form. The paperback will be available soon. I made a new page for the series, which you can see here. I so appreciate all the interest people have shown! I really hope you like The Moving Pictures: An … Continue reading New Book Available!
Many people seem to think that single parent families and blended families were a rarity until the increased prevalence of divorce in recent decades. Genealogy tells a different story. In researching my ancestors and those of other people, I have indeed found very few that were divorced, but I have also found very few children … Continue reading How Genealogy Debunks Myths About History, #2: Nuclear Families
My explorations in genealogy have led me to question a lot of conventional wisdom about the lives of people in earlier eras. One of the assumptions I had was that until fairly recently, most people married before age 30. There might have been the occasional confirmed bachelor or spinster aunt, but they were unusual. In … Continue reading How Genealogy Debunks Myths About History, #1: Marriage
I love history. I have even made my living as a history teacher, but until I finished high school I thought I hated the whole subject. That was because my history teachers made it incredibly boring. It wasn't entirely their fault. They taught it the same boring way they were taught, which is also the … Continue reading Genealogy Personalizes History