Monday, August 12, 2013

Poll: Did your ancestors live in Brooklyn?

There is an oft-quoted statistic that 1 in 7 Americans can trace their ancestry through Brooklyn, NY. This is almost certainly complete bunk, but it's telling nonetheless: lots of people have lived in Brooklyn. For several decades in the nineteenth century, Brooklyn - then independent - was the third largest city America.* Today, if Brooklyn were still an independent city and not a borough of New York City, it would be the fourth largest city in the country.

My US-research has been almost entirely Brooklyn-based. Three quarters of my grandparents were born there, and a number of their parents and grandparents before them. As a result, I spend a lot of research time on Brooklyn, and I devote a lot of additional time to reading and learning about Brooklyn's history over the past couple of centuries. When I first started exploring the online genealogy community, I searched on Geneabloggers for other genealogy blogs about Brooklyn, and was shocked by how little I found. Plenty of content from the Virtual Dime Museum, some from the Ancestral Archaeologist and Tracing the Tribe, and more recently, the blog Brooklyn in Love and at War. But there was very little else that either focused on Brooklyn or treated it with any regularity.

Wondering about this disconnect has led me to ask the following poll question of my readers: Did your ancestors live in Brooklyn? I'd love to get as large a sample as possible - we'll see how readers of a genealogy-focused blog compare to that mythical 1 in 7 - so please select an answer below.

Did your ancestors live in Brooklyn?

*I wish could find the contemporary newspaper articles, in which Brooklyn papers are proud and Manhattan papers, ever superior, are absolutely incredulous. If memory serves, they say things like "Brooklyn now claims to be the 3rd large city in the Union," despite the fact that it's Census data, not Brooklyn egos, that underlie the claim.


Jill Ball said...

Have cast my vote from Australia. They lived and are buried in Brooklyn.

Peter Barbella said...

Not only did they live there, but many of them made their living at George Hutt's Paper Lace Factory. Later in life, George and one of my Aunts got married.