16 September 2014

If your ancestor lived ... well, really died in 1870 ... check out these infographics

I’ve mentioned the Vault on Slate before and posts by Rebecca Onion.  Well, she’s shared another neat post of interest to genealogists and family historians.  Though we strive to learn as much as we can about our ancestors lives, we also value what we can learn about how they died.

This set of charts shows causes of death in the United States, according to the 1870 census. The page appeared in the Statistical Atlas of the United States, a project spearheaded by Francis Amasa Walker, then the superintendent of the Census. Here, the atlas employs a data visualization technique described by Edward Tufte as “small multiples”—a series of little illustrations presenting bits of a data set.

The article goes on to share some of the results presented along with some thoughts about why certain patterns emerged in certain states for certain age groups and/or causes of death.  There is a link to a zoomable version of the original chart either via the blog post or at the Library of Congress’ digital archives (part of the Cultural Landscapes section of the Map Collections in American Memory).

So many neat documents so little time!  À la Rebecca Onion have you come across neat infographics that really gave you an informative visual perspective on something related to your ancestors?  If so, please share ...

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