Sometimes as a family history researcher we forget to check some things for clues that are right there all along. Your parents or grandparents, aunts-uncles may have kept old letters, postcards, birthday cards, wedding announcements / invitations or graduation cards for years. Go through scrapbooks, receipts for merchandise, or ledgers – anything with names and places.
You need to re-examine any names associated with those cards. True, a name (s) could be totally ‘foreign’ to you and you have no clue how it might tie-in to the family. That is how further research just might reveal a previously unknown cousin, grandparents, aunt, etc.
With people marrying and different names used, you may not have one across the name before. However, there has to be some reason your relative had the letter, card, invitation or postcard and kept it.
Use every name and the location (address) as a clue. Even if the person is not related, the clue could be in the town the card came from. Your relative may have lived there at one time, had a job there, or attended school. It is using all the clues around you to put the life story of your ancestors together.
Another overlooked item is a guest book. It could be one from a wedding, an anniversary party, a retirement party or even one associated with a church, especially if your relative had church ties. Look carefully at the female names, these might offer a woman’s maiden name.
Use every scrap of paper and re-examine it often as new information is gathered.
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