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30 January 2012

Are You Getting Past Your Biases?

My ancestors are pretty much from rural locations. When they moved, they settled where they had kin or kin arrived a few years after they did. My English speaking ancestors in the States moved across the country with some of the relatives and my 19th century European immigrants to rural America did the same thing--settling where they knew people or where they later brought relatives from "home."

My children have ancestors in Chicago, Philadelphia, and other large towns.For some reason, I decided that urban people didn't "move with neighbors" like my rural family did. I was wrong. The more I researched the families in urban areas, I learned that they too stuck with family or had relatives nearby.

The point this time isn't about "chain migration," (although that is a factor to always be considered). The point with today's tip is never to assume people from a different place and way of life are that different and to try and eliminate as many of your own misconceptions from your research methods as possible.

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