Did You Think to Find This Information?

Not unless someone suggested some of the following ideas of items to research about your ancestors, it may not have occurred to you some of these could prove to be quite fascinating.

Use it as check-off list, those you have attempted (whether successful or not) and those you should investigate and see what can be learned.

Start with children – was there an ancestor who had more children than any other? It was common for individuals to have 10 to 15 children. Didn’t mean all survived to adulthood, but the mother did give birth to a large number of children.

Most of our ancestors were farmers, but there were many who had other occupations such as a wheelwright, boot maker, a weaver, a carpenter or professions such as a lawyer or doctor. You will want to pursue and learn as much as possible on the occupations (and there could have been several over a lifetime) that an ancestor had. Remember those who also owned their own business shop or store.

Find which of your ancestors moved the furthest from their birth home. It was unusual for people to permanently leave their birth home. The first big exception are those who moved from Europe to permanently settle in America. But see what you can find of those ancestors already settled in America and where they later moved to, maybe it was the fat western frontier.

Longevity – make of listing of those ancestors (direct lineage and then related relatives like aunts and uncles) who lived the longest. Any reach 100 years old??

Unusual given names, collect those ancestors with the more unusual given names in yoru family tree. Of course remember that name might not have been usual for the time frame just unusual in present-day.

Never depend solely on one resource for gathering information on ancestors. Some solely use the Internet resources but remember contacting the museums and historical and genealogical societies of the hometowns and counties that your ancestors lived in is a great resource.

Using the various databases and books in digital format on the Internet are still important. Select one ancestors, especially one you have a fair amount of information on (full names, dates, locations, occupations, spouse) and just research that name online. Especially look newspaper articles and if that name appears in books that are digitally available. You could be very surprised by something that was written in a book in the 1890s that mentions an ancestor of yours.

Photos: John Ireland, his second wife Eliza Ann Naisbitt with 12 children and one son-in-law; John Beal died at age 100 in 1688 in Mass.; and a boot-maker from 1845.

Related Familytree.com Blogs:

Ancestor’s Occupation

Expansion of America

Unusual Given Names

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