Get Out of Your Head

I was chatting on Facebook with a fellow genealogist about one of our common families. Our discussion got me to thinking about a relative I’ve not researched in a while and I decided to start searching passenger lists for this person using what I could remember about the deceased ancestor off the top of my head.


Big mistake.

Changing gears and working on a person or a family you have not researched in a while is a great way to make headway–a fresh start works wonders. But go back and review the information that has been located already. Don’t research based on details you remember “off the top of your head.”

Chances are there are details that are remembered incorrectly and searching based on those details can waste time and increase frustration.


3 thoughts on “Get Out of Your Head

  1. Marcia

    The thing I appreciate most about your daily tips is that when I read them I can tell you are a regular researcher having learning experiences just like I am. Your tips ring true to me from experience of many years. Basic and real and actual. It is good to have them spoken as a reminder!

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      Thanks, Marcia. I try and keep things practical when possible. Most of the time (unless I’m going to be really busy), the tips are written while I’m actually working on something else when I notice something I forgot or something that I didn’t know.

      That’s also why tips don’t discuss certain geographic areas as those are places where I don’t have anything I’m working on.

  2. Patty Gilbert

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I remember ed the wrong information on the wrong family. When I found the information I was looking 4 I spotted quite a bit that I had missed b4. Made more sense when I found new information, even thou it had been there all along. But I was able to move on further. Yea! Your help is always appreciated. Thank u.


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