I’ve just started a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve been interested in doing a One Place Study. Generally a One Place Study takes a defined area like a city or a village or a street and then the researcher does an in-depth study of that one particular place.
For example Monroe Township and Richland Township in Allen County, Ohio. These are the two places I’ve chosen to do a One Place Study. Several branches of my family settled in these adjoining townships in the 1800s. The families married back-and-forth so a great number of the people that lived in this area in the late 1800s are my ancestors, both direct and collateral.
My goal is to trace this one area through most of the 19th-century and into the early 20th-century. By researching the people of this area, the historical events that happened there, the population as it moved in and out of the township, documenting marriages, births and deaths will help me in the continuing research of my own ancestors. In many ways this is similar to “cluster genealogy” or working on a FAN (friends, associates, neighbors) club of a particular ancestor. My goal is to learn more about my ancestor’s daily lives, as well as their neighbors and friends. I want to research how they interacted, see how historical events shaped their lives, look at them as real people. I’m sure I’ll learn so much more about my own ancestors when I research their community as a whole.
Since I know next to nothing about beginning a One Place Study I will refer often to the website Register of One Place Studies. There I’ve registered the townships that I am working on. That only lets others know a study is underway. My townships have their own dedicated web page with the option of someone contacting me if they’re interested in my particular study. I’d be more than happy to collaborate on this study with anyone else! I’ve read the One Place Study newsletter and I’m trying to learn all I’ll need to begin and continue on with my study.
I also purchase the book Putting Your Ancestors in their Place, A Guide to One Place Studies by Janet Few. I tried to buy it from Amazon but could not. So I contacted Janet and purchased a signed copy directly from her! It’s a great guide for starting this research. Although most references are for the United Kingdom I’m going to translate those resources into what’s available here in the United States. It’s a great guide in outlining the process for a good study.
My first step will be mapping my area. Do you have any suggested links for good online maps? Whether historical or current?
This is a new and exciting adventure. If you’re already doing a One Place Study please leave a comment. Let me know what place you’re One Place Study covers. AND I would appreciate any hints or tips you might have!
Wish me luck!