Did You Try This Approach to Find an Ancestor?



Some things can be very simple once it dawns on you there may be another approach to finding a specific ancestor. Several of these you may have tried, but it only takes ONE to open the door to a mystery ancestor.

First, not everyone stayed forever in their hometown even if the rest of their family did. Many individuals set out on their own to a neighboring county, a distant territory or state, sometimes to start a new life. Be open to the fact an ancestor may have moved to a totally different location — Alaska, Mid-West, Florida, Texas, Pacific West or even to a foreign country.

Whenever possible with a search use as the keyword the ancestor’s occupation (barber, blacksmith, dentist, watchmaker, etc). True, many of our ancestors were farmers or laborers. but if they did have a skill, try searching that way in a specific area. you may have missed them before due to a major misspelling.

In locating someone, use a variety of names. That includes searching their middle given name with the surname. Or try as a surname the person’s mother’s maiden name.

Look up the church records in a family hometown. Try also all the church denominations in a community. Even if the family was Baptist, the missing ancestor may have been Methodist.

Study any old maps available of the family hometown or county. There might be a business listed or a street name for the person you are looking for.

Contact a home county’s Museum. Many such facilities carry records, photos, city directories, etc. on its citizens.

Check frequently the Rootsweb Message Board site. You can read what others have posted but better to post your own question on a specific ancestor. Search by surname, states, counties, occupations, military service, indentured servants, etc. You never know what could be provided by a stranger.

Photos: 1900 Jim Haly’s Roadhouse in Alaska; 1900 Barbers; Search records and Rootsweb Message Board.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Check-Off List

Finding Family Ephemera

Family History in a Museum

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Related Articles

» Introducing Biological Age Feature For 2
» 100+ Million New Images Now Available In
» Indianapolis First Cemetery Raises Conce
» Do You Know About The Earliest Inhabitan
» California Reparations Bills One Step Cl
» Inherited Genetic Factors May Predict Th
» What is Juneteenth? The History Behind t
» MyHeritage Adds 123 Million Historical R
» Fragments of Freedom In The Fine Print
» Genetic Studies Have A Diversity Problem
» Washington Cemetery Has Been Lost To Tim
» People With Two Copies Of A Risk Gene Ha
» MyHeritage Releases New York City Birth,
» Indiana State Archives Initiative
» California Reparations Bills Clear First
» The Civilian Conservation Corps & De
» Can Genetic Genealogy Restore Family Nar
» What A Genetic Match Really Means
» Need 10,000 Daily Steps To Prevent Obesi
» More Than 200 Veterans' Graves Restored
» Tracing British Roots With DNA and Recor
» 23andMe's Historical Matches
» MyHeritage Adds 707 Million Historical R
» 23andMe Launches New Genetic Reports On
» California Assembly Passes Reparations R
» New Free Historical Records On FamilySea
» 5 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Gene
» MyHeritage Adds 168 Million Historical R
» Studying Colorectal Cancer Within The Bl
» Celebrating National Arab American Herit
» Volunteers Reclaim Historic Cemetery In
» Black California Lawmakers Introducing P
» The Story Behind Women's History Month
» FamilySearch: Host And Sponsor of RootsT
» MyHeritage Updated Their Theory Of Famil
» The Genetics Of Loneliness And Its Impac
» The Mysteries Of Leap Day
» Samhain Is Celebrated Starting October 3
» Scientists May Have Found A New Trigger
» MyHeritage Adds 43 Million Historical Re
» Edwardsville's MCHS Archive Library Beco
» More Californians Want Reparations For S
» Better Polygenic Risk Prediction
» Five Tips For Finding Your LGBTQIA+ Ance
» The First Point-Of-Care Test For Lactose
» Boys Who Smoke In Early Teens Could Pass
» Welsh Last Names: Meanings and Popularit
» New Resources For FamilySearch Center Vo
» MyHeritage Adds 89 Million Historical Re
» 23andMe Improves BRCA Report For Communi
» Discover Your Hispanic Roots
» Korean Last Names, Naming Traditions, An
» How To Rescue A Family Bible
» Tracing Mexican Roots With DNA Records
» Explore Millions of Records From The Bri
» Family Of Henrietta Lacks Settles With B
» Surprising Facts About The History Of Ba
» Historical DNA Reveals Connection Betwee
» Find The U.S. Immigration Ports Your Anc
» Understanding Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry
» Tricare Will Cover 5 New Genetic Diagnos
» California Reparations Task Force Conclu
» 23andMe Adds More Detail To Central Amer
» Celebrating Chinese Canadian Immigration
» Explore The Free Chinese Exclusion Era C
» The Look Of Your Eyebrow Is In Your Gene
» Parallel Reparations Efforts In Californ
» MyHeritage Introduces Reimagine Photo Ap
» 23andMe Adds More Detail For Indigenous
» FamilySearch Wrote About Canadian Immigr
» Ancestry To Apply AI-Driven Handwriting
» Succession to the British Throne Under K
» Thomasville Chapter DAR Features Technol
» Underwater Hospital And Cemetery Found A
» Reparations Task Force Recommends "Down
» New Enhancements To cM Explainer
» 23andMe Adds More Details For Indigenous
» 1931 Census Of Canada Releases June 1, 2
» Ancestry Survey Reveals Americans Know L
» New York's Hart Island Is Becoming A Par
» MyHeritage Has New Look for Historical R
» 23andMe Discusses COVID-19 Three Years L
» California's Reparations Task Force Will
» 23andMe Knows You're Special
» FamilySearch's Top 30 Country Record Col
» Ancestry Shares Corporate Responsibility
» A Property Flipper Bought A Black Cemete
» California's Reparations Task Force Coul
» Ancestry Launches Storymaker Studio
» Parkinson's Disease And The Microbiome