06 November 2012

A Voting Exercise for Genealogists

Unless you've under a rock, you should know that today is election day for blog readers in the United States.

This blog post is a little different and is just to get readers thinking. I'm not even going to really post any answers--rather, we'll just ask questions.

Do you know when your ancestor got the right to vote? 

  • Was it when he turned 21?
  • Was it when he turned 18?
  • Did he never get the right to vote?
  • Was it when he became a citizen?
Do you know when your ancestor became a citizen?
  • Was it when he was born?
  • Was it when her father naturalized?
  • Was it when she got married?
  • Was it when she naturalized?
  • Did he never become a citizen?

Of course, gender and race are tied to these questions as well. Your ancestor's gender was fixed. Your ancestor's race might not have been so "fixed," depending on the time period, location, etc. For some ancestors, the answers to these questions may not be straight forward.

She who refuses to learn history might as well quit genealogy and take up another hobby.

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