Genealogy is often about location. Where your ancestor lived and where records were kept for individuals who lived in that location are vital things to know. Do you know all the political jurisdictions in which your ancestor lived: town/city/village, township, hundred, county, state, province, etc.? Do you know what jurisdictions border those towns, cities, villages, townships, hundreds, counties, states, etc.? How close did you ancestor lived to any of those borders? What is the chance he or she crossed those borders and left records in another area? Which of those jurisdictions kept records? Which ones still keep records? Where are those records located?