1900 Census Image

The power of researching our ancestors in the communities where they lived cannot be overstated.

Above is a portion of a census table I created showing dwelling and family number, name, age and a few other notations.

John and Abigail Waters

John and Abigail Waters lived with their immediate African-American neighbors in the community of Upper Fairmount in Somerset County, Maryland in the year 1900.

The table extracts names from enumeration districts 76 and 77, and is about nine pages long. You’ll also notice I color-coded the surnames.

The table below reveals the familial connections to John and Abigail in their community:

The Kinship Cluster

(I collapsed the families so they would fit on one image, but the numbers in the first column represent the dwelling number.)

John and Abigail, like most of our ancestors, were living near their children, siblings and other close and extended kinfolk.

Other family members migrated out of the community to places like Baltimore, MD and Atlantic City, NJ. Their families lived in this community for over 100 years.

Sources Used to Uncover Relationships

A partial list of the kinds of sources I used to uncover the extended kinship networks of this community are:

**census records
**land records
**death certificates
**marriage certificates
**church records
**tax records
**historical inventories
**probate records
**local history books and articles
**court records
**funeral programs
**oral history
**maps, and
**civil war pension records
**cemetery records and headstones

Closing Thoughts

The neighborhoods of our ancestors are rich terrain for uncovering familial relationships if we are willing to do the work to find them.

Not just in the census. And not just online.


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