Clarify the County

There are some states that have counties and towns or cities with the same name. Often these towns are not located in the county of the same name causing confusion. For this reason whenever referring to a political jurisdiction, indicate it is a county by using that word in the location. If you consistently use the word “county,” you will know that Des Moines, Iowa, refers to the city of Des Moines and not the county.

Are There Record Books and Originals?

In some jurisdictions that retain the original will in the packet of probate papers, there still may be a will record book that contains a transcription of the will made at the time it was admitted to probate by the court. If the original will is difficult to read, the transcription may clarify things that are illegible on the original.

Are You the Only One?

Is there a newspaper clipping, photograph, family bible, etc. that you have that no one else does? Have you made a copy or digital scan of it that can be saved in a remote place from the original?

If there’s something you have and your copy IS THE ONLY ONE, consider duplicating it as a way to preserve and share it so that you increase the chance that in 100 years it still exists in at least some form.

Not Exact, but it Matched

Put me down as confused.
This screen shot shows a search just conducted this morning on the “Illinois County Marriages, 1810-1934” database at FamilySearch.

My search was for a couple where one had the last name Tammen and the other had the last name Johnson. FamilySearch told me there were no matches that matched “strongly.”

How do you get “stronger” than the same last names I entered?