Whenever I have a difficult time finding something, I try and ask myself “why was this hard to find? ” Sometimes the “trick” was something I overlooked. Other times it wasn’t. But reminding myself of what the problem was sometimes gives me insight into other people I can’t find. One issue a recent search for an 1851 marriage from St. Louis was that I didn’t have right maiden name for the wife.
When reading through estate records and inventories, pay close attention to those individuals who are buying property from the estate. There is a good chance that they are relatives and neighbors. In more recent times  the names may not be a dramatic revelation, but in an earlier era it may help you to establish geographic proximity of two individuals.
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