For all of you who enjoy doing genealogy, there's a little something I've come across that many of you probably already know, but if you're still new to genealogy you might enjoy this little tidbit.
Search historical records of the town in which your relative lived and the surrounding areas. I just discovered a very small bit of information in the most unlikely of sources today. Land grants given to soldiers who had fought at Narragansett Fort, Dec. 1675. In this list I ran across two of my ancestors. For me, it's an interesting tidbit.
Another question that arises from this information is why the Narragansett Fort Fight, Dec. 19, 1675 and what does it have to do with land being granted from Amherest, NH.? Ah, research, gotta love it.
So, what does this have to do with being a historical fiction writer? Well, there's a lot of history you can learn from these rare books. What I like about them the most is they are more detailed than the current histories of areas. I've found information on a man selling hogs, using the Wilderness Trail during the time period I was writing a historical novel. The information was so unusual and yet at the time, so normal, I just had to work it into a novel. Hogtied was the result of that tiny tidbit of information. In the account of the County's history, it not only told about him bring the hogs to Virginia and the price he received for them, it also told the actual costs of tolls, lodging and food along the way.
And what does this have to do with 19th century history? Well, a lot of these early histories of towns and counties were written in the 1800's. And that is why they caught my eye.
Tidbits like this add a nice texture to our novels, imho.
Genealogies searches of names that settled areas has also garnered me some valuable information as well.