Sunday, January 29, 2012

Social media as evidence!

Over at the ProGenealogists blog last month, David Vance commented on how social media worked a century ago in the social columns of local newspapers.

I would be interested in the thoughts of more tech-savvy people on this comparison. (And quite possibly there have been some in the hectic month between his post and this one!)

Vance translated some of the social items into 2012-speak, and it looked to me like the corresponding tweets contained somewhat less genealogical information than their 1912 originals. (Insert your own observation about the 2010 census vs. 1910 census here.)

Meanwhile, here's an example of a top-of-the-line genealogical article that used this kind of source:

Victor S. Dunn, "Social News as a Clue to Ancestry: Hester (nee Rogers) Cunningham of Virginia and West Virginia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (September 2005): 165-176.

It's available free on line to members of the National Genealogical Society.

1 comment:

Michael Hait said...

Timothy Pinnick has also written (and lectures) extensively on the topic of social columns in African American newspapers. You can read more at his website at