History for Genealogists

    History for Genealogists. Using Chronological Time Lines to find and Understand Your Ancestors, by Judy Jacobson

  • With this book, accomplished author Judy Jacobson returns with a vast array of historical time lines that are guaranteed to inform your family history. Consider the following illustrations: If you have lost track of your 1880 ancestor in Iowa, have you considered that he might have moved there during the Economic Panic of 1873?
  • Your forebears were living in Texas in the 1840s, but did you know that they might have come from Kentucky as part of the “Peters’ Colony” settlement?
  • Did you know that you can learn a great deal about your ancestors if they belonged to a labor or fraternal organization like the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, or the Catholic Family Life Insurance Society?
  • As Mrs. Jacobson puts it, “The average person might define historical research as the study of the human past and genealogical research as the study of a human’s past. History lays the foundation to understand a group of people. Genealogy lays the foundation to understand a person or family using tangible evidence. Yet history also lays the foundation to understand why individuals and societies behave the way they do. It provides the building materials need to understand the human condition and provide an identity, be it for an individual or a group or an institution.”
  • The initial chapters of History for Genealogists explain the value of historical time lines. Here the reader learns the clues that time lines can suggest about hidden aspects of our ancestors’ lives. Mrs. Jacobson illustrates the virtues of time lines with several case studies.
  • The bulk of her latest volume consists of specific historical time lines that answer fundamental questions about our forebears. For example, if you are trying to learn when your ancestors left one place for another, it would be helpful to ask the question, “Why did they leave?” Did it have to do with a military conflict, social injustice, religion, disease, economic hardship, a natural disaster? No matter what the scenario, Mrs. Jacobson has a historical time line that could lead you to the explanation.
  • For example, your ancestor’s departure may have coincided with the outbreak of the Crimean War, a virulent epidemic, an earthquake, or a religious war. Other chapters pose answers to other crucial questions, such as “How did they go?” and “What route did they take?” For these conundrums Mrs. Jacobson uses time lines to lay out the history of the transportation revolutions in America (roads, rails, canals, and air travel), as well as the history of the great western trails our ancestors followed in crossing the country.
  • Mrs. Jacobson dissects the past into scores of time lines. There is a time line of the Industrial Revolution, of American immigration, and the Labor Movement. Researchers can also make use of a time line for the history of each of the 50 states and, in brief, for the rest of North America, Europe, and more.
  • History for Genealogists concludes with a helpful bibliography and an index of people and places, wars and battles. It is the one history book every genealogist should own when they are searching for fresh clues or hoping to understand what made their ancestors tick. To order your copy, please click on the following URL:
  • www.genealogical.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&item_number=9956
  • Also by Judy Jacobson . . .
  • A Field Guide for Genealogists
  • This handy book is designed to remove any number of stumbling blocks and to answer thousands of other practical questions that quite naturally arise during a research trip. For example, the Field Guide includes sections on the basics of dating photographs and identifying historical eras from hairstyles or clothing. Similarly, legal terms found in genealogical records are identified in one of the several glossaries–glossaries of genealogical terms, nicknames, surnames, place names, and occupations. Mrs. Jacobson provides a section on problems to anticipate at the county courthouse, offers hints for deciphering old handwriting, discusses different types of calendars, and gives time lines of American history, migration, and transportation.
  • A Genealogist’s Refresher Course
  • A Genealogist’s Refresher Course is less a how-to book than a collection of first-hand experiences, do’s and don’ts, and privileged information. The author reminds us at the outset that success in genealogy is not an overnight experience, and roadblocks and dead-ends along the way are part of the process. One of the most valuable chapters in the book contains a list of nearly 100 different kinds of sources of genealogical information, including anniversary announcements, bank statements, business licenses, memorial cards, health records, medals, newspaper clippings, subpoenas, and many other record categories that genealogists may fail to consult. It may just be the refresher course you’re looking for.
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