Ideas to Assist in Finding Ancestors

1. Ancestors may have used middle names. Check all various forms of given names and see if there were nicknames such ‘Dick’ for Richard in your search.

2. Check the mother’s maiden name, not everyone was born in wedlock. An ancestor may have used their mother’s name only.

3. Perhaps your ancestor simply moved. Always try searching in a neighboring area, town or county.  

4. Names were often misspelled or changed over the years, and the mistake or change is continued down the line.

5. Check overseas indexes in neighboring nations. People moved around more than you think.

6. Check local county courthouses, the primary records (birth-marriage and death) are kept here and may contain less errors.

7. Could your ancestor have disappeared because he/she was in the workhouse, jail, or overseas on the night the census was taken?

8. Search for a Will at a county courthouse. It can include the deceased’s occupation, address, next of kin and executors of the Will.  

9. Consider that your relative may have changed name totally. They could have changed their name without making an official declaration, sometimes for good reasons, other times for fraudulent reasons.

10. Read the newspapers, not just obituaries but also news stories. It is amazing the information you can learn about an ancestor from the newspaper. 

Related FamilyTree Blogs:

Finding Elusive Ancestors

Musts in Family Research

New Ideas to Get Back on Track

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