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What Can You Find on the Internet?

computerA family history researcher never depends solely on what is available on the Internet, too many mistakes or non-sourced material out there. However, there are some things, even real gems or treasures you would be happy to locate and that is where the Internet can help.

One big area is looking for any ancestral writings or family histories your relatives may have written and was published. Of course when you look, never just go with the main family surname. Look for surnames that were the maiden name for a great grandmother or the married name of a great aunt. Those you wouldn’t always think to check, but there might be some valuable information.

Next try different surname spellings. The way a name was spelled even a hundred years ago can vary. The surname “Rue” today was spelled “Rouche & Rouch” in 1870, spelled “Rough” in 1860, “Ruthe” in 1850 and first written “Routh” in 1840.

Look into the hometowns and counties where your ancestors lived. You would be surprised how many towns put a history of their area online and maybe your relative was a notable person in the community.

Some other type of writings an ancestor might have done and has been placed by online by a genealogical society or a community are diaries and journals. They might be found in the town’s public libraries using their catalog listings. Check all the museums in the hometown or county. Keep in mind there are also specific museums, such as military museums and if your ancestor served in the military, there just might be some information.

As far of places, go beyond where an ancestor grew up or even lived their whole life. I found an memorial relating to one person’s ancestor in New Rochelle, New York, yet the ancestor had spent their whole life in New Hampshire. So why a memorial to this person? They had been in the military during World War I and stationed at a base for about one month near New Rochelle and had done a good deed while there. Who knew?

Patience is the key when researching and the Internet can be a good avenue in that journey.

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