When You Are Stuck: Some Thoughts

  • Write up every piece of information you know about your “lost” ancestor. Every piece.
  • Include a source citation for every piece of information you know about your ancestor–if it came from an interview of a relative, so state. If it was on a piece of paper or a digital image of that paper, cite it. Make certain you have transcribed the information completely and accurately from that source.
  • If you don’t have a source for a piece of information–indicate that. That doesn’t mean the information is wrong, just that you don’t have a source for it.
  • Are there any relatives of the “lost person” who have not been fully researched? And if you think they are fully researched, have you really confirmed that?
  • Are there any words or terms that you have encountered while searching that person that you are not completely certain you understand?
  • Have you shared your write up of your “lost person” with a researcher, genealogy group, message board, etc. who might be able to give some insight?

There are other things one can do as well, including learning about the time period and location of the “lost person,” their religious affiliation, occupation, educational level, etc.


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