It is easy to search without looking to see if the record even exists.
Ancestry.com “let” me search the 1810 census for a man who should have been living in Ohio. Problem is that most of the 1810 census for Ohio was destroyed in the War of 1812. If I never get past the search box, I don’t realize that.
Are you making certain it really exists before you click “search?”
If you need maps of county boundary changes, complete with animations, try this site hosted by Chicago’s Newberry Library.
If you can’t find an ancestor who should be a head of household in a pre-1850 United States census, consider that he could be living with someone else and not listed by name.
I was looking for an older ancestor in 1840. Then it dawned on me that, given his age in 1840, he might have been living with one of his children. The ancestor would not have been head of household and would be “hidden” in one of those tally marks.
I was asked to give people a little advance notice about our next offering of “Organizing Your Genealogical Information.”
Our next series of classes and follow up sessions will begin in January 2013. More details are here.
Don’t stop with asking one relative about the family. Ask as many as possible. Even siblings close in age may remember different aspects of Grandpa’s life or have a different perspective. Exhaustive searches should apply to people as well as paper materials.
Chances are you are not the only descendant of your “brick wall” ancestor. Have you attempted to locate as many descendants of your “brick wall” ancestor as possible? Others may have researched him, have additional information, or even have apparently meaningless clues that, when combined with your apparently meaningless clues actually mean something.
Have you done Google and other searches to see if others are researching first (and more distantly related) cousins of some of your “lost” family members? This may be a good way to connect with others and researchers of these families may not “know enough” to have names that they can post on earlier generations.
A relative giving information for a record could easily get similar (or not so similar) names confused.
Any chance a relative got the names John and Tom confused? These are not the same names, are not derived from the same name, but a mixup could easily take place.
This is more likely the case if a minority of documents give a name that does not appear anywhere else.
Half of our ancestors are female and yet researching them adequately (or even not so adequately) often takes more than half of our time.
This webinar presents some suggestions for tracking the ladies in your family tree along with pitfalls and a discussion of why researching females is different. Presentation is made through examples and specific situations which explain methodology clearly and succinctly. Researching female ancestors is not difficult, but does require the researcher to get outside of techniques that may emphasize male ancestors.
This presentation is geared towards advanced beginners or intermediate researchers. True beginners might find it valuable as well–if only to make them aware that there is hope.
You can order the download of “Female Ancestors” today for $4–using the link below. Download links will be sent as separate emails.
If the link does not work, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for order processing.
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