Friday, January 6, 2012

Genealogical Niche?

A blog post on Marian Pierre-Louis's Roots and Rambles got me thinking about genealogical niches. Her blog post ( was unfilled niches. I started wondering about how one defines their own niche.

For me, it's been a mix of where I live, my family history, and my academic background. Connecticut's always been part of life for me. The fact that the most genealogically obsessed branch of my family is from here just makes it that much better. I'm trained as a historian and stumbled into Civil War history fairly early on - actually after finding a letter written by/for an enslaved man serving with the Confederate Army in a Connecticut archives. Funny how these things happen, right?

I do have other branches of my family history that intrigue me, and frankly, if I lived closer to where that history took place, I'd probably claim it as part of my "niche." I stumbled across the Connecticut Luxembourgers while researching another branch, not from this area.

On the other hand, I have branches of my family tree I've traced no more than two generations back. Sometimes it's area; sometimes it's just not having those stories. You never know.

So how did you define your niche?


  1. Bryna,

    You sound just like me when you say "if I lived closer to where that history took place, I'd probably claim it as part of my "niche." So many of my ancestors have been ignored because I live to far away to do satisfactory research. I prefer to get local when doing research and get frustrated when I can't do that.

    But I digress. The real reason I'm leaving a comment is because of that Confederate soldier's letter that you found. Did you ever do any research on the soldier? Do you know what happened to him after the war? Just curious.


  2. Yes and no. He proved hard to trace in detail, but I was able to find some basic information(marriage, etc). I wrote an NGSQ article on him, which appeared in the Sept. 2008 issue. I always wish I could find more!