Where did they live?
It is impossible to understand the lives of our ancestors without knowing where they lived. Not just where they lived geographically but under what conditions. Did they live in a rural location or in tightly packed tenements. How difficult was it to move around?
For many of us, living in a modern wealthy industrialised society, it is difficult to imagine how difficult it was to travel from one place to another.
No cars, buses or trains, not even bicycles. For most walking was the only means of getting to the next town or village.
That is still the case today for much of the worlds population but if you are reading this it is unlikely to be you.
One of the reasons why it is so important to genealogists is to answer the question. Could they have met? Could Harry have met Sally? With the common reuse of first names during the 18th and 19th centuries it is often difficult to decide which Harrys or which Sallys could qualify as your ancestors.
What was the distance between them? Was there a common market town near enough for them to have met?
In future posts I will discuss the types of resources we use to answer these questions.