Stopping because you have located one record is never a good idea. By keeping on going, I discovered that an ancestor was divorced from the same man not once, but twice. By keeping on going, I also discovered that another relative’s first marriage “didn’t happen” and they were actually married two years later. Combine these unusual circumstances with the occasional record that gets entered or indexed late and you have even more reason to look for entries or documents “after you think you should.”



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  1. So true! My favorite comment to patrons when I'm volunteering in my local genealogical library is this:
    “The worst mistake a researcher can make is quitting too soon!”

  2. Also if you use Ancestry, don't give up because the surname might be spelled wrong 9 times out of 10. Do the front page search, John Doe; exact; USA; NJ then enter. Once you get into the individual records…

    The trick is say for example you have 3 census and they lived there those 3 time. Enter the first name only but don't use sound index; then enter the county and town; then birth place and the birth year starting with 1 yr and moving up to 2 yrs if you are not finding them. Also widen the search to the next county over and town you think they lived in if 2 yrs doesn't work. I found many “Lost” records that way because the last name was spelled wrong and the sound index didn't pick it up.

    Also I find it hard to locate a book there too, you get everything under the sun in your search. So first I enter the book in Google and that way you might find the link to the book there back to Ancestry's site. I actually found 5 that I was looking for today. If you think you will use it again Bookmark it and make a folder for it like I did today.

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