It is quit claim, not quick claim

A quit claim deed is one where someone (the grantor) gives up whatever claim they have to a piece of property. They aren’t guaranteeing they have title–they are just giving up their claim. A quit claim deed may have been drawn up quickly, but there’s not such thing as a quick claim deed. It is just a mispronunciation of “quit claim.”

One Link at a Time

Since my recent breakthrough at the Family History Library, I discovered an online posting about my newfound ancestor that lists dozens of his ancestor, including one on the Mayflower.

It is important not to get too excited about these huge discoveries and take the to prove every link in the chain.

Online materials, especially those that are unsourced or that only have filenames like “jones.tftw” as sources, should be used as guides, not gospel.

The Importance of Writing

This has been a tip of the day before, but I believe it is important enough to occasionally be repeated.

Writing up your genealogy research is important. It will make you look more closely at what you have, your assumptions and your conclusions. Remember to write for someone who does not know anything about your family.

You might be surprised at the things you learn. And consider submitting your finished product to a local genealogical or historical society quarterly in the area where your ancestor lived. It is a great way to preserve your research.

And don’t forget to cite your sources.

Do it on Paper First

Genealogy software programs are great at helping us to manage data. But don’t rush to enter information when you are uncertain about the relationships.

I’m working on a “new” family. The only information I have on them is one 1870 census enumeration. The household is headed by a man, but based upon the ages, the oldest female can’t be the mother of all those who appear to be children.

Before I start putting any relationship information on this family in my genealogy software program, I need to work on obtaining more details about their relationships.

Haste in data entry leads to mistakes.

Is the Preface Correct?

Genealogists with experience tell newer researchers to always read the preface of a book to determine what records were used, etc. This is an excellent idea. Remember though that the preface itself can contain errors. I spent hours trying to locate the original record used to compile a print book based upon incorrect information in the preface.

It Pays to Go Back

Always go back and take a look at something you first saw when you “didn’t know too much.” When putting together the footnotes for an upcoming Casefile Clues article, I reviewed a website that listed items in a special collection that I had used for the article. When reviewing the item I used, I saw an item listed below it that meant nothing originally. After having read the item I had been sent, the second item ended up being relevant to my family.

If I hadn’t gone back, I might have missed it.

An Undivided 1/4 interest…

A participant on my Salt Lake City research trip found a deed that indicated the grantor was selling an undivided 1/4 interest in a piece of property. This warranted further research in land and probate records. An undivided interest of this type frequently indicates some type of inheritance was involved. Not always, but often.

Just need to try it again

Even if you think you’ve tried it, try it again. I can’t remember the number of times that someone has told me they had “searched for that,” “tried that,” etc. with no luck. And when we did it together, the result was found.

No guarantees, but maybe you need to try researching something again. It is always possible to overlook something the first time or not to search in the way you thought you did.