This week’s prompt is conducting cluster research. Cluster research, as defined by Thomas MacEntee is, “When you research the friends, associates and neighbors (aka F.A.N. club) who were part of the community of your direct line ancestors. Most times this means focusing on the geographical area where your ancestors lived or the locales from and to which they migrated.” What a great definition!
I did this without even realizing it when I started researching my Hruszczak line and my parish family. Many Ukrainians in Coatesville lived in Rock Run and many of them worked at the steel mill together. In this particular case, it helped me more understand the family dynamics within my parish more so than any specific information about my family.
For example, the 1930 census shows my great grandparents and their family living next to the Zydnsky family. They lived next to the Urbans who were next to the Maskulas. I did find a nephew living with the Maskula family who I had not hear of before – a Joseph Dakrun. Literally the sheet could be a church membership roster instead of federal census.
Looking back at this small sampling, it does also remind me of one very important thing I gained from cluster research. The names I mentioned – and obviously mine – are all very ethnic names. Since I know the other names (the families still attend the same church, just as I do), the cluster research helps decipher spellings and names.
Week 8 – The value of collateral research
Week 7 – Software and digitizing
Week 6 – Evaluating Evidence
Week 5 - Research and Citations
Week 4 – Managing projects
Week 3 - tracking research and conducting research
Week 2 - set research goals, self interviews, and family interviews
Genealogy Do-Over is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015