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               October, 2012

      Charles Hansen, Editor
      Jennifer Shoer, Guest Contributor
      Newsletter Archives   |  E-mail                    

  Would Pooh Have Made a Good Genealogist?
  — Jennifer Shoer

Pooh as Genealogist
        Pooh is my literary idol. If I could keep only one fiction book, it would be Pooh. In "The House at Pooh Corner," Pooh agrees to help Rabbit in the search he has organized to find Small. Rabbit insists that the search is all organized, but after he has gone, Pooh realizes several things. He has forgotten to ask who Small is and what kind of friend or relative he is. To help himself figure out how to look for Small, he makes a list, a sort of research plan, called "Order of Looking for Things." At which point, Pooh thinks to himself "Which makes it look like a bothering sort of day." [1]

        A list can make a day feel like a bother, particularly when it is filled with to dos you would rather not do. Perhaps Pooh is better suited to spending time with Piglet and eating honey than going on a hunt, especially one requiring a list. But I know you are here because you love a list filled with genealogy to dos. You love the hunt, as do I!

What Sort of Relation?
        In conducting genealogical research it is necessary to constantly create, revisit and revise our plans. Before we begin a search for an ancestor, we should take a cue from Pooh and ask ourselves and our living relatives what we know about him or her. Who is he? Where did he live? What kind of person was he? No living relatives? Search for what has already been written. There may be books, diaries, journals, manuscripts or letters. Some places to search include:
Google,   Google Books,   Family Search,

New England Historic Genealogical Society,   WorldCat, Catalog

Where Is the Special Place?
        Pooh begins his list...

        "1. Special Place (To find Piglet.)" ...Pooh in his infinite wisdom tells himself, "because he's been organized in a special place of his own. So I shall have to look for the Special Place first. I wonder where it is." [2]

        While you have learned about what sort of relation your ancestor was, undoubtedly you uncovered some possible areas he may have lived. Before you create your research plan, find out more about his special place or places during the time he lived there. Learn about the laws, industry, religions, organizations and geography. Use the links above to search for places and also use map websites to see locations near or related to the special place. It is helpful to know if the place is located on a border, or has been located within multiple places within its existence.

Google Maps,   David Rumsey Map Collection

        Well friends, I think it is about time I went and had some tea with honey. Thank you to Pooh for his timeless wisdom. — Scrappy Gen

Let's Remeber!     [1] A.A. Milne, The World of Pooh (USA: E.P. Dutton, 1957), 191.   [2] Milne, The World of Pooh, 191.

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