Research into ancestors who lived in every geographical location is the same, and yet it also is unique. The research methodologies you employ will be essentially the same. However, the record types will vary from place to place and from time period to time period. Historical events and political jurisdiction certainly influenced what records were created, how well they have survived, and where they have finally come to be housed. For example, when a county is divided to make one or more additional counties, it is essential to determine the date(s) when boundary changes occurred and where the boundary lines were located. Records created before that date will have been registered in the parent county, and those created after that date will have been registered in the new county. Only by studying the jurisdictional changes can we be sure to search for records in the correct county.
Any study of United States history will encompass the Civil War, 1861 to 1865, and the aftermath of Reconstruction. The Southern states’ history diverged from that of the Union during those years, and consequently there are unique records that were created. Research for the Southern states therefore requires that we pay special attention to that period of history, those distinctive records, and where they may now be stored.
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