Slowly But Surely…

…We’re making progress! This marks week nine of the HIST 325: Doing Digital History course, and we’re well underway in our Mapping Marriage Project. Currently, we’re making our second pass through the couples who married in 1921, trying to find what stragglers we couldn’t find before.

The difference we’ve made with this second run through is that we’re using FamilySearch, a family history mapping site. Unlike HeritageQuest, FamilySearch sifts through national and state census records from all years as well as other records like birth, marriage, and death records. Switching over to this service, we’ve been able to find some more of the couples we weren’t able to find before. However, we’re still missing a number of people.

There are two main difficulties I’ve run into while using FamilySearch: 1) too many possibilities, 2) no records close to 1920. Sometimes there are so many people with the same name, born about the same time. Or there are multiple records that are just a little off, like having the last name slightly misspelled or the first name listed being different from that written on the Clay County marriage license. This in addition to the wealth of records FamilySearch pulls up can be really bamboozling, landing me back where I started—not knowing.

Other times, you find the person! But there are no records listed that come close to 1920. This wouldn’t be a problem if we knew for sure that the person didn’t move between, say, 1905 to 1920; but we can’t be sure of that. So we’re left again without an address.

Regardless of the roadblocks, I and my classmates have made great progress on this aspect of the project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to move to the next phase of our project soon where we’ll start putting everything together… but that’s a secret for now.

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