Winter Research Project: Mary Smart McMurry – Researching the Location

The next step in the Research Like a Pro methodology is locality research. Before combing the records for an area, it’s helpful to know what’s available and where to find it. Also, understanding the history of a place can also point to other localities, especially when a boundary change happened during your time period of interest.

Both sides of my family came through Winn Parish, Louisiana, in the late 1800s, so I’ve done a lot of research in this parish. But creating the locality guide was a good exercise in formalizing my understanding of the area. Now I have a quick sheet with links to my most-used resources!


My only down side is my obsession with detail. On the RLP podcast, Diana says to carve out 45 minutes and whip out one of these guides quickly. I can’t seem to do that and feel like I captured everything. This guide took approximately four hours’ effort.

2 thoughts on “Winter Research Project: Mary Smart McMurry – Researching the Location”

  1. But what a great guide you have!
    You’ve given me ideas for something similar for my own searches. On Dad’s side, I had family in parts of Ohio I only know of vaguely, and several generations in the Bedford, Pa. area. I see the value in this kind of document and it’s now on my to-do list. Thank you, again!!!

  2. I absolutely love the RLP method and creating research guides is something I definitely need to do more often. Thanks for sharing!!

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