Where Did They Get That?

It can be a good problem-solving approach: asking yourself “where did they get that?”

The “that” can be anything.

It can be a piece of information. It can be a piece of family history ephemera. It can be a genealogical record. Sometimes the “where” can be on multiple levels, depending up on the item and what it contains.

How did the census record image get to your computer screen and how did the image get in the record in the first place? How did the information get in the newspaper obituary and how did that newspaper obituary get to you?

That letter you have from your grandfather to your grandmother? How did you end up with it?

All of these are things we need to think about as we analyze sources and the information they contain. Nothing simply “lands in your genealogical lap.” It arrived there somehow. Even if you make a fortunate, lucky discovery the information that record contained got there somehow. It didn’t all magically float to you.


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