A distant relative contacted me out of the blue and in reviewing a chart he sent on the descendants of my aunt’s husband’s parents, I realized I had information on several of that man’s nephews and nieces because the names were familiar to me.
I had heard the names before and I knew where. They were not all in my database. They were all in my head. Even though two names were in my database, I didn’t search for them based on their name. I searched on them based on their relationship to me :
- wife of my second great-grandfather’s brother,
- wife of my second great-grandfather’s brother’s first cousin,
- man who attempted to homestead with a different second great-grandfather.
Fortunately I had written about the homesteader situation and it was relatively easy to find in my files. But the whole thing reminded me of the importance of capturing information in some digital form so that it can be searched.
Because what is only in your head can easily be lost.