what constitutes a link to a place?

I was transcribing the gravestones in Sion churchyard recently and was struck by the number of people buried there in the C19 who did not live in the immediate area. Most lived within a mile or so of Sion, but some obviously travelled considerable distance to worship and passed other Baptist churches on the way. Yet they were obviously connected sufficiently with Sion to be buried there.

So do they qualify for inclusion in a one-place study? What connection with a place is necessary to ‘count’? It’s not as easy as it seems!

Obviously study people who lived there - but for how long should someone have lived there? What about boarders on the census returns - should their link with the householder be followed up?

What about major landowners who never lived there? Springhill was copyhold land subject to the customs of the manor. Obviously study the copyhold holder but what about the lord or the steward?

There may be major employers with workers who spent all their working lives in the place but lived elsewhere. Alternatively a resident may have had a significant role - employed, voluntary, whatever - outside. How far do you study that up?

Marl Pits, once part of Springhill Farm, how hosts a sports complex with rugby and athletics club - should I study major club officials or key members, even if that was their only link to the area?

And when does it get silly - people who passed through on the bus...

Ultimately it is a personal study so it doesn’t really matter as long as the link is documented and explored consistently. Maybe the inclusion criterion is ‘whatever grabs my interest’!

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