Weekly Planner: Assemble Ancestral Addresses

Noting your ancestors’ locations chronologically can lead you to other records created in a particular time and place. Spreadsheets and word processors can help you create timelines with dates, addresses, and sources. Use these tools to note record gaps and ancestral migrations. Compare these chronologies with those of related families. By looking at where and when your ancestors lived at a particular time, and investigating circumstances in an area around the time of moves, you can gain a deeper understanding into what was happening in their lives and add depth to your family history.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Assemble Ancestral Addresses

  1. This is a great article. A friend has been doing this for some time. Could you send an outline of what comes first, the name, location, timeline or what?
    Thank you. Again a great idea.
    Sincerely,
    Louise Bush
    P O Box 18, Ritzville, WA 99169

  2. Using addresses has been extremely helpful in my research. I can track the progressive migration of my ancestors from the tenements of Chicago to the north and west suburbs over twenty years at the turn of the century. Typically, the older married siblings would move first and then the younger siblings and their parents would follow. Young couples would share apartments and neighborhoods and help launch each other. They typically lived within two blocks of each other. Knowing this has helped me confirm relationships among extended family members that were only hypotheticals to start with.

    I have confirmed my great-great grandfather by noting that the address where he died is the same address given for the birth of one of his grandchildren in the same year. That was the only connection between him and what I knew about my great-grandfather. I was glad to have it. I have confirmed my great-great grandmother by noting that her address in the city directory was across the street from the known address of her son. The addresses are one more bit of evidence triangulating the accuracy of my research.

    I organize my addresses by family across time in a Word table. Whenever I obtain any document that has an address, I add it to the list in chronological order and note where the address came from (census, city directory, draft registration, death certificate, birth certificate, marriage license). Then I check all other addresses in the same neighborhood and time period. When I get a new document that may be for a family member, sometimes the only confirmation is the address. It has been very helpful.

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