For our PEAK project we have decided to continue the marriage license project where we are investigating changes in the distance between courting couples in 1901 and 1921. We want to create an online presentation of our research with a map and short articles, videos, or audios on some of the interesting facts and stories we found throughout the project.
Some ideas that we had for the articles include discussing why the distances might have changed or looking into age differences between couples. When looking for sources that might help us with our research, I found this paper called Historical Trends in Marriage Formation, United States 1850-1990 by Catherine A. Fitch and Steven Ruggles which investigates statistics of the average age in marriages during these time periods. It talks about the effects of war, industrialization, and other big events on the average marriage age. I think this would be useful for comparing our data to see how the average marriage age in Clay County, Minnesota compares with national averages.
One difficulty that we face while conducting our research is that some of the names and people that we are looking for don’t show up on the census records. We have had trouble finding evidence of some of our couples are debating on what to do with people we can’t find. I am reading a book called The Family Tree Problem Solver by Marsha Hoffman Rising in the hopes that it might give us good tips on tracking down some of our names. This book has some tips on searching for alternate names and spellings as well as other tactics for finding errors in the census records.
Hopefully these resources will help make our project run smoothly and give us some interesting information to add to it.
Fitch, Catherine A, and Steven Ruggles. Historical Trends in Marriage Formation, United States, n.d., 34.
Rising, Marsha Hoffman. The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors. 1st ed. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2011.