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The Family

Putting your Ancestors in their Place

A Guide to One Place Studies

Janet Few

A5, 96 pages, ISBN: 978-1-906280-43-7

A One Place study involves dissecting a small, definable, geographical area, to examine the individuals, buildings, and processes of the past, in as much detail as possible. Our ancestors did not live in isolation. To understand these ancestors, they need to be 'put in their place' by investigating the community of which they were a part. A One Place Study brings family and local history together in, the benefit of both fields.

Ranging from how to choose your place, through locating sources, collating and interpreting your data, to publishing your findings; this book is suitable for experienced researchers as well as those new to One Place Studies. Elements that a One Place Study might incorporate and sources that could be used are explained. Although sources are described, it is not primarily about sources themselves. The emphasis is on how these records might be used and over thirty mini-projects for the one place researcher are suggested. Although the sources described apply primarily primarily to One Place Studies in England and Wales, many of the techniques and suggestions are relevant to those whose places are elsewhere.

One Place Studies are not just about indexing documents and collecting data. Ultimately they are about using that data to answer questions about a community, its residents and their lives. They are about making connections, between individuals, between inhabitants and locations and between people, places and events. In this way, it is possible to gain an insight into the lives of past residents and shed light on issues such as household composition, occupational structure, migration patterns and residential persistence. This book suggests some of the ways in which this might be done.

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