Genealogy and Historical Geography

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2020) | Viewed by 3614

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
Interests: historical geography of the U.S.; population and settlement geography; genealogy and geography; urban planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We seek papers that explore the potential for genealogical data and methods to inform historical geography questions and problems for a Special Issue of Genealogy on “Genealogy and Historical Geography”. This research collaboration will build on the growing literature in geography that already encompasses many studies that use a genealogical foundation to successfully explore issues such as family heritage tourism, personal identity formation, urban development, place name evolution, historical demographic shifts, spatial relatedness, last name distributions, and family migration patterns.

Summary: Family historians, genealogists, and historical population and cultural geographers have much in common. Genealogy and family history research has a natural overlap with historical geography because they all deal with people who lived and died in the places of preceding eras. Genealogists are usually most concerned with finding related individuals using clues that include possible locations of life events, while historical geographers are more often focused on how larger social processes shaped bygone physical and cultural landscapes. Successful genealogists see the need to understand historical regional and international events that influence migration patterns, and to recognize the effects of changing political boundaries on their research techniques. Similarly, historical geographers have noticed that family histories and genealogies have great potential to help answer crucial questions regarding past places. Advances in computer and Internet technology have accelerated the availability of easily accessible and searchable genealogical records that are offered to genealogists and historical geographers alike. As the popularity of genealogy grows, and as digital resources and search technologies multiply, the commonalities between historical geography and family history will most likely inspire greater success in both arenas of endeavor (Otterstrom 2020).

Prof. Samuel Otterstrom
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • historical geography
  • genealogy and place
  • family heritage

Published Papers (1 paper)

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12 pages, 2628 KiB  
Development of the Genealogical FamilySearch Database and Expanding Its Use to Map and Measure Multiple Generations of American Migration
by Samuel M. Otterstrom, Brian E. Bunker and Michael A. Farnsworth
Genealogy 2021, 5(1), 16; - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2794
Genealogical research is full of opportunities for connecting generations. Millions of people pursue that purpose as they put together family trees that span hundreds of years. These data are valuable in linking people to the people of their past and in developing personal [...] Read more.
Genealogical research is full of opportunities for connecting generations. Millions of people pursue that purpose as they put together family trees that span hundreds of years. These data are valuable in linking people to the people of their past and in developing personal identities, and they can also be used in other ways. The purposes of this paper are to first give a short history of the development and practice of family history and genealogical research in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has developed the FamilySearch website, and second, to show how genealogical data can illustrate forward generation migration flows across the United States by analyzing resulting patterns and statistics. For example, descendants of people born in several large cities exhibited distinct geographies of migration away from the cities of their forebears. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genealogy and Historical Geography)
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