What Is Genealogy #OffTheGrid?

When I first got started with family research, the internet did not exist for home use. Eventually, the creation of email and the old AOL hosting server came into existence. The world wide web was open, and slowly genealogy materials began to appear on various sites. We never know what tomorrow may bring, and I felt it was too important to forget those techniques I used many years ago. It is for this reason that Genealogy #OffTheGrid was born.

What you will find here will be techniques that consist of only ground research. Back in the day, a person had to travel to various libraries or genealogy societies. Or they would communicate through regular mail to obtain data. The home phone was handy only during business hours, unless, of course, you were speaking with your aunt at 9 pm. I have the entire 1850 census printed among my files because these records were only available in book form or printed copies. Fortunately, copies were inexpensive and easily made if the desire to stand there for hours suited your schedule. Why 1850? Because this was the first census where everyone in the household had a first and last name. So, yes, it was that important.

Books hold the passion together for off-the-grid research. Purchasing books back in the day was the number one research technique used outside of visiting the register of deeds office. Family booklets were very popular during the 1990s. They were cheap to create, and most local historical societies were eager to print them. I can’t tell you how many of these family booklets I’ve proven wrong over the years. But that’s ok. We learn as we find the material and the proof. The sad thing is that a large portion of this same wrong data is listed on the internet today, and millions stick by that information. At times, your research will require you to go off the grid and explore the past. Honestly, that’s the moment your true journey begins.

Today, so many people don’t know how to start this process and feel lost. Navigating the old roads, strolling the rows of headstones, crossing a creek in the middle of the woods all seems crazy today. But that’s how we found our family. One step at a time. The Genealogy #Off The Grid articles will share the techniques I used back in the 1980s, 1990s and portions of the 2000s. I’ll share how I got the most out of a local library. They hold many sections of the past that people today have no idea how to find them. I’ve even surprised a few librarians back in the day. I’ll share how to find the church records. I’ll share how to get the most out of a genealogy society or a local historical society. How to work the newspapers to your advantage and seek the local businesses, yes, they have records too.

The best part of this journey is meeting new friends along the way. Friendships that last a lifetime and sharing your adventures. That’s a priceless treasure. So, forget about those brick walls in your path, and begin your journey off the grid. What do you have to do? Just look for the articles in the Genealogy #OffTheGrid category. Enjoy your journey today and share your adventures.

Enjoy Your Journey to the Past