Your Ancestors Here There and Everywhere

In This Chapter

^ Finding out where your ancestors lived ^ Locating places on maps and in history ^ Using maps in your research ^ Getting information from local sources

5ay that while researching census records, you find that your great-great-great- grandfather lived in Winchester, Virginia. But where is Winchester? What was the town like? Where exactly did he live in the town? What was life like when he lived there? To answer these questions, you need to dig a little deeper than just retrieving documents — you need to look at the life of your ancestor within the context of where he lived.

Geography played a major role in the lives of our ancestors. It often determined where they lived, worked, and migrated (as early settlers often migrated to lands that were similar to their home state or country). It can also play a major role in how you research your ancestor. Concentrating on where your ancestor lived can often point you to area-specific record sets or provide clues about where to research next. In this chapter, we look at several ways to use geographical resources to provide a boost to your family history research.

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