Here are some ideas of places to search further to locate your ancestors. Some of these you may have already tried, others never occurred to you as a source of information. So look over the following suggestions and see where you should search next.
Re-look at the various Federal Census records, but this time besides seeing your ancestors’ household, examine neighboring households. If you see surnames that match the ancestors you are searching, those neighbors could turn out to be grandparents, aunts, brothers, etc for your main family. Harder to spot would be sisters and aunts with married names. Look then at given names, place of birth, ages and even children’s names to see if a child was named for a known relative. Go a couple pages before ad after where your ancestors’ household is listed to make sure you checked all possibilities.
When you get stuck on a specific ancestor in your direct line, always move sideways. Start investigating any siblings. Go back to when your ancestor lived with their parents as a youngster if possible and do research on each sibling. You just might be surprised to find your ancestor living years later with that sibling or the sibling in the ancestor’s household. Check city directories for siblings living nearby or in the same household.
Once you know an ancestor’s hometown, even a couple they may have lived in over the years, make a point to phone or write to that town’s or county’s genealogical society, their historical society, the local historic museum, public library and the county courthouse. A wealth of information may be housed in any of those institutions.
See if there are any Facebook sites established with the family surname you are searching. Start on the search box on Facebook place genealogy and the surname or just the surname, especially if it is unusual. Even if there no already established Facebook site with that surname you will see where individuals make reference to that surname or even part of their own name. A great method to connect with others with the same family name.
If you have not checked to see if there is a local Family History Center in your own community, make that a priority. You will be amazed at all the resources a Family History Center has available already, places and people from all across the globe. It is a free service, you only pay a fee for any special order microfilms you request. Volunteers are always there to assist you. Here is a link to a map of locations of Family History Centers and you can narrow the search by typing in a place.
Photos: Family History Center in Indianapolis and History Museum in Charleston, SC.
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