- think about census taking as if it were our job
- pretend we were the clerk that couldn't understand your ancestor
- imagine we are a semi-literate frontiersman collecting taxes
- imagine you are a non-English speaker with a fear of the government who sees the census taker coming
- think what it might have been like to have 4 small children, little money to spare, and barely able to afford a burial plot, let alone a tombstone
Remember, the research is about our ancestors and the people who created the records that we use--not necessarily about us.
Good advice from Michael Neill.