How many genealogists use Wikitree for local history?

+15 votes
Hello Wikitreers,

Recently I have been using wikitree to document all the early settlers in my county. I am finding a lot of families connect in the pioneer days because they married their neighbors and other members of their small communities. Travel was not easy, and you socialized with those in your vicinity. So pioneer times seems to be a good time to connect various families that settled in the same area.

I am sure New Englanders and Virginians are probably well aware of this because they had such early pioneers. I am finding the same holds true for my later day pioneers here in Florida, some who came during or after the Indian wars, during or  after the Civil War, before the railroad arrived in 1888 and some who followed around the turn of the century. I am finding the origins of the earliest settlers were from nearby states, but after the railroad we were getting folks from the northern climates as well.

I have started a project called the Pinellas County Pioneers project, which has almost 200 pioneers profiled so far. I am writing this to encourage you to look at your own counties and your own towns and neighborhoods. You might just find a lot of connections of various famllies in your own backyard!

Sharon Troy Centanne

Genealogist and Local Historian
asked in The Tree House by Sharon Centanne G2G6 Pilot (139k points)

7 Answers

+6 votes
Sharon,  This is so true!   I often use the genealogy of a place (look for everyone I can find n a specific location and by doing that often find family who are hiding in plain sight so to speak.    Census records are good for this too, go forward and back a few pages and you may find the family a wife came from who married into your family.  

Another clue is occupations.  This is a good way to find links between families in 1700s and earlier because guilds were so strong and often dictated you had to marry within a guild to keep the secrets of how things were made within the guild.
answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (459k points)
+4 votes

Great timing.  I just moved to Bristol, RI and just started a project to help me learn the history and share with the local Genealogy Club.

It is still bare bones but I have found a good handful of profiles already on WikiTree that will need sourcing and connecting.  

So a Win for me, a Win for WikiTree and a Win for the history of Bristol.

Charter Members of Bristol, Massachusetts, Plymouth Colony

answered by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (361k points)
This area often gets tied in with Aquidneck genealogy speaking. My people are from Portsmouth, RI (Aquidneck). I use the Little Compton book a lot. Thomas Durfee book includes the female lines, so a lot from there.

Also have Plymouth and New Bedford.

Quakers are big. Also a lot of Mayflower people intermarried. Alden through Peabody big in the area, also George Soule family. I have both.

Whaling, shipbuilding in New Bedford. I have a ship builder in the family.

The library in Newport has lots of stuff. Also I would like to track down what happened to the Portsmouth Quaker records, may be at the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Your map shows the area that moved from Massachusetts to Rhode Island or Rhode Island to Massachusetts. This is confusing to get right. My Great Grandfather was born in Rhode Island but before he died it was part of Massachusetts!
+2 votes
I've started a one place study for Monroe Township, Licking County, Ohio, USA and have a couple of hundred people in in so far.  I also linked some sources and a history of Johnstown, the main town there.  I have lots of offline information which I'd be happy to share with any WikiTreer who has relatives in Monroe Township or just Licking County.  Right now I'm still mostly adding relatives, but at some point I'll be adding neighbors too.
answered by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (367k points)
+5 votes

This is a major reason for putting people's profiles into categories for the places where they were born, lived, married, or died.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (877k points)
+4 votes
This is great as I originally looked to this site for that beyond my local area but what had me looking locally was doing cemetery geneology and joining the cemetery projects. Recording people buried locally could help not only add people to that time but expand who you can connect to who might know more. Like local history groups, etc. Something to consider!
answered by Emily Kusec-Ashcroft G2G3 (3.7k points)
+2 votes
There are several ways in which local history makes its way into genealogy: One can start a One Place Study, for instance, giving an individual history of families. Or one can try to capture the history by being historically correct with the locations as they change over time, looking at the broader historical context and changes in political affiliations. The 30 Years' War for instance depopulated whole areas in Central Europe which were later repopulated by immigrants from countries and regions that were under the same political umbrella, the Habsburgs for instance.
answered by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (442k points)
+1 vote
answered by Ian Mclean G2G6 Mach 1 (12k points)

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