Project Narrative

The data set that I have chosen is comprised of ten years (five before and five after) the Civil War (1861-1865), and I am looking at the birth years on the tombstones in the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, VA. In my project, I am looking for a correlation between the number of births and whether or not there was a “baby boom” in Lexington after the war. My prediction is that there will be greater births during the five years after the war than in the five years leading up to the Civil War. Granted, this predicted baby boom may be due to soldiers returning from war or from a natural increase in the population due to more people moving to the area. That being said, I’m looking at this project from a historical angle, analyzing how the war may have affected population growth in this specific area. Possible research questions are:

  1. Were there more births before or after the Civil War?
  2. Are these births remaining in the same families before and after?
  3. Are these births happening in families of higher or lower socioeconomic levels?

This project could be expanded to create a greater socioeconomic analysis of the Lexington area after the Civil War by looking at familial migration and the occupations of those having children.