Friday, December 31, 2010

Homer, NY-One Place Study-Starting the Project

It's time to launch the official blog for the One Place Study for Homer, New York!

This project began in November 2010 as I began putting the pieces together to launch it, including the web site at  I'd like to begin by explaining a little of what the project is, and why I chose Homer as my subject for the study.

What is a One Place Study?
I only recently learned about one place studies this year.  After years of compiling my own family histories as well as working on the genealogies of a few friends, I found myself more and more interested in the dynamics of small towns in the United States where my ancestors were part of the pioneer settlers.  How did these areas originally form?  Who settled them?  Where did those individuals come from?  Did they travel alone, with other family members, with friends?  How did the settlers interact with one another once they arrived?   Have historic buildings been preserved or discarded?  Who stayed in the area?  Who moved on?  The questions are endless.

I found that there are a number of One Place Studies in progress in England, and I found an online course being taught by Pharos Tutoring.  While much of the content of the course was related to studying records in England, I got a lot of good ideas from the course, and got an opportunity to find some like minded individuals.

My definition of a One Place Study is the collection and analysis of information related to the early history of a singular location and its settlers.  I am concentrating on the first 100 years to make the project somewhat manageable.

Why Homer, NY
I do not live in Homer, although I live about 40 minutes away.  I did live in Homer as a child up until age 8, and have many fond memories of the town.  My grandparents lived in Homer for most of their married life, my mother and aunt grew up there, my great grandparents lived and worked there, and back a number of generations, my ancestor Stephen Knapp was one of the founding settlers.  Homer is one of those wonderful historic NY towns that has preserved its heritage.  The streets are lined with wonderful historic buildings, many of them pictured on my web site.  Homer is rich in heritage and a delight to visit, both important qualities for a study that will no doubt take much of my time over the years.  I am hopeful that others who also love this little village and town will join me in this project, sharing their stories and artifacts to make this study a meaningful resource for anyone interested in this area.

Giving Back
I work for a nonprofit, and it is important to me to give back to society where I can.  I have benefited greatly over the years from the generosity of others who have taken the time to study historical records and make them available to others through indexing, transcribing, putting information online, and so on.  It is my hope that this project will be a benefit to many others.

Join and/or Follow
Please join me or follow me on this journey.  In addition to pulling together information about Homer and its founding settlers in a new and interesting format, I hope to create a blueprint that others can use to create one place studies about other locations.

Let the journey begin! 

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