Plotting your ancestors on a timeline can be a helpful exercise for several reasons.
- If you don’t know much about them, seeing them in their historical context gives you a general idea of what life might have been like for them.
- It’s helpful putting what information you do have about a family on a timeline to discover any possible anomalies or discrepancies. Did the mother give birth to a child when she was 5 years old? Probably not the correct mother…
- Knowing what was happening in their region of the world can help explain what happened to the family. Can’t find them in the 1920 Census of Louisiana? This was a time of great migration (actually referred to as America’s Great Migration) for black families residing in the South. Established migration routes show a steady flow of families from Louisiana to Chicago. It’s a clue!
Family Vignette: Tent Story
Our most famous camping story was the time we went to New Hampshire with a tent and it rained for days. Our parents decided to pack up and drive a while to find a sunnier location. All was ready when Mom noticed we’d forgotten a bottle of dish soap on the picnic table. She jumped out of the car, threw the bottle on top of the trailer containing the tent and all the equipment and we drove off. We found some sun, set up camp and enjoyed the day of swimming and exploring, but that night, the rains found us again. Unbeknownst to us, that bottle of soap had leaked all over the tent, then dried out. In the rain that night, the waterproofing on the tent was washed out by the soap and we found ourselves drenched in our sleeping bags and surrounded by soap suds as the rain poured right through the canvas. We packed up again, this time in the middle of the night, and went home.
This post is part of the A-Z Challenge 2014
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