Is the Latest Always the Best?

In some cases the latest transcription of something might not be the best. If you’ve seen a published book of tombstone inscriptions from the 1990s, you still might want to look at that book of transcriptions done in the 1940s. Stones might have been more legible in 1940, some might not have been readable at all in 1990.

That book of transcribed marriage records in the 1930s might contain handwriting interpretations with different renderings of certain words. The ink might not have been as faded in 1930 as it was when a later transcription was done. And the transcriptionist from 1930 might have been more familiar with local names than was the 1980 era transcriptionist.

Do not always assume the latest publication is the best. Sometimes it is not.

Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make. 

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Connect With Non-Relatives With Kin in the Same Area

If you cannot locate relatives who are interested in your ancestor, have you at least tried and contacted other genealogists who are researching in the same location?

While they might not be related, they might have ideas for sources or repositories where you should conduct your research. Others might know what records have been microfilmed or digitized, etc.

Don’t just limit yourself to trying to find relatives–others with similar areas of research may be able to help you even more.

Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make. 

Is Each Record the Same Person?

 

You may have several different records on your ancestor, various census enumerations, city directory references, an obituary, a mention in a county history, a marriage register entry, a death certificate, a mention as a witness on a document, etc.?

How certain are you that each of these references are to the same person? Could there have been two people with the same or similar names? Have you possibly confused two first cousins, a father and a son, or two unrelated people.

It is always possible and something to keep in mind.


 

 

Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make. 

Derivative Citizenship

A derivative citizenship is one that is derived from the citizenship of the someone else, usually the father of the husband. In the United States, foreign born children under the age of majority when their father naturalized would generally be considered naturalized themselves and would not have to go through the process themselves.

If your ancestor immigrated as a child, indicates he is naturalized but you cannot find any naturalization papers in his name, then consider the possibility that he had derivative citizenship through a father’s naturalization.


Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make. 

Age on a Date

Remember that if someone truly died at the age of 30 in 1900, they could have been born in 1869 or 1870 depending upon when their date of birth was in relationship to the date they died.  If they were born on 4 March 1869, they would be 30 on any document in 1900 dated before 4 March and 31 on any document in 1900 dated on 4 March or after.

So if a tombstone says the person died in 1900 at the age of 30, they could have been born in 1869 or 1870, if only the years are given on the stone.

Whether or not the age is correct in the first place is another matter.


Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make. 

Search for the Employer

To learn more about your ancestor’s employer as given in a city directory, search the rest of the city directory for information on that employer as it may include advertisements or list the employer in a list of area businesses. Consider performing a Google search for the name of the business and search local and regional histories as well, many of which have been digitized at Google Books (http://books.google.com) or Archive.org (http://www.archive.org).

Webinar “Using Indexes at FamilySearch” Released

Using Indexes at FamilySearch

Making the best use of indexed materials at FamilySearch requires a knowledge and understanding of how the indexes at FamilySearch work and how they do not. After providing an overview of search strategies to use at FamilySearch we will look at several examples where locating the person of interest was more involved than simply typing their name the search box and finding it the first time. This presentation will also briefly address organizing your online search strategy. Handout included.

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Tear Down Your Assumptions

We’ve mentioned this before, but some problems can be worked around or solved by thinking about every assumption we have made about an ancestor and “their situation.”

Every assumption.

Especially those that are near and dear to our heart. Those are the ones that can create the biggest stumbling blocks.  If you don’t have documentation for a “fact” about your ancestor, then that fact could be incorrect. Even if you do have documentation for a fact, that documentation could be incorrect.

Always consider the possibility that what you think you know could be wrong–and then ask yourself:

what would I do differently if this “fact” weren’t true?

And then do it.