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History for Genealogists. Using Chronological Time Lines to find and Understand Your Ancestors

Genealogy Timeline

By Judy Jacobson

Finally! A history book written expressly for family sleuths–History for Genealogists, Using Chronological Time Lines to find and Understand Your Ancestors

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? 

History for Genealogists, Using Chronological Time Lines to Find and Understand Your Ancestors. Revised Edition

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 concerning hidden aspects of our ancestors’ lives. Mrs. Jacobson illustrates the virtues of time lines with several case studies.

The bulk of the 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.

But wait, there’s more. The 2016 edition of History for Genealogists has been completely revised and edited, and it contains two entirely new chapters. Readers of the original 2009 edition will enjoy the new time lines concerning (1) life on the home front during America’s 20th-century wars; and (2) fashion and leisure in America from its beginnings through the middle of the 20th century. The fashion and leisure chapter discusses things like the invention of the jigsaw puzzle, publication of Good Housekeeping magazine, and the modeling of the first bikini. Do you know when the “Spanish Flu” reached America during World War I (killing many of our ancestors), or when the government instituted the first aluminum scrap drive, or commenced rationing during World War II? You can get all the answers in the new “Homefront” chapter. Both new chapters include up-to-date bibliographies that readers can use to expand their research.

History for Genealogists also contains 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.

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