Ever wonder what a city historian does? City of Kingston, N.Y. historian Ed Ford joined me on The Forget-Me-Not Hour last week to tell us.
New York state has mandated that each town and city have a historian. Some of them are paid and some are not. The guidelines for historians, interestingly, do no include genealogy. The historian’s job is to focus on the overall history of the municipality and not the individual families. The historians document the buildings, commerce and other functions of a town. Each historian will tackle the job differently and often the focus will change from one city/town historian to the next.
Often a historian will include genealogy as part of his or her focus. This is entirely an individual matter. Ed has fielded calls from many genealogists and has done quick look ups in census records and such. He has helped people locate the building where their ancestors lived, like he did with one of my clients. We found out that the building had been torn down in the Kingston urban renewal of the 1960s and 70s.
For a great interview on Blog Talk Radio, click here to listen to Edwin Ford, the city of Kingston historian.