On Track with Family Research

Family historyIt is so easy to get ‘lost’ in your family research. The more names you come up with the more you want to find and sometimes you can be so distracted you are off course.

So here are a few tips to get you back on the right direction.

1. Go back over what you do have already. Sometimes you ‘forgot’ what you had and no sense researching that birth date of your great grandfather all over again.

2. Narrow down your search, zero in a specific question. Don’t try to find everything ever known about your great Aunt Martha at once. Rather, get the basics first– birth-marriage-death. Then hometown or residents, then check census records, that will have many details. Start with the most recent census for that ancestor and work back in time. If one is not found for a certain year, go back later. You might have learned a different name they used.

3. You might want to do up a time line on an individual, that could show what you are missing. For example your grandfather was working in Boston in 1920 and then next time you find him it was in Texas in 1940 census. Those twenty years need to be checked and you can break it up into just ten to start.

4. Use Ancestry.com Wiki to review what resources are out there. You might not have thought of checking the county your father lived in after he returned from World War Two. Many counties kept records on returning soldiers.

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