Monday, October 22, 2012

Tika & Mountains

Tika knows that Mt. Spokane dominates the skyline northeast of the city of Spokane; in fact she's been in car rides up there to take fall walks. She does not realize (nor care) that Mt. Spokane has an elevation of 5880 feet .  Thinking of mountains, I was reading to her the other day about Mt. Everest..... in 1856 the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the height of Everest at 29,002 feet. The name came in 1865, given in honor of Sir George Everest, the first surveyor general of India. Remember those trivia facts for Thanksgiving dinner!

And what does this have to do with genealogy, my Tika is asking? Maps and mountains are important to your family history. Picture or plot your family on a topographical map..... where was the nearest church of their denomination? where was the nearest county courthouse?  and did they live near a large stream or a river...and how did they get across? how many miles did they have to go in their horse and buggy or on foot?

Point is, our ancestors may have lived in Jefferson County but may have attended church or tended to their official business in Madison county because it was easier to get to. Such imaginary lines as county lines meant little to them. Ditto for newspaper coverage. It was the custom of oldtime newspapers to fill their pages with local gossip (national or world news was hard to come by). The local newspaper might have been the Madison County Journal but would have included the doings of Jefferson County's residents because Jefferson County was in their readership area.

Tika says, "well, alrighty. Can we go for a walk now?"  

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