If there is a period of time where you are not certain where your ancestor was living or what he was doing, then you have an opportunity. Short gaps where a person is “missing” could mean military service, an out-of-state job, a short-lived marriage, a trip in search of gold, etc.
Or it could simply mean they never moved and simply didn’t leave any records for a three year time period.
But if you never look one thing is certain–you’ll never know.
Get Genealogy Tip of the Day–the book–here!