Some things about your ancestor change and others do not. Think about what things do not change (date of birth, place of birth, etc.) and what things do change (age, physical agility/ability to do manual labor, general health, etc.).

For some people their religious affiliation remains constant their entire life. Other individuals may have attended several different churches during their life time. A change in marital status (due to death or divorce) may have resulted in a change in family dynamics, finances, etc. Those resulting changes may have resulted in additional responses–a move, court records, change in estate planning, etc. A change in your ancestor’s health may have necessitated a variety of lifestyle changes. Children moving away, getting married, or having children may have impacted your relative’s life as well.

At any point in your relative’s life if you are stuck, ask yourself:

What changes could have taken place at that point in my ancestor’s life that could be compounding my search for more information? Are these changes things that leave indirect but not direct clues behind?



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