Overlooked Sources of Family History

Family history and the tree is not just name and dates and locations, there should be information on the person themselves, their occupation, hobbies, interests, and achievements.

Where is find some of that type of information is by using some of the following.

Learning when the first of a family branch arrived in America is very important. Check immigration records and include ship passenger lists, ports of immigration, census, naturalization records. Those naturalization records can hold some valuable information.

Find the different locations (hometown) where an ancestor lived. Use census records, city directories are great, or a property map.

Find Land ownership records in the courthouse of where they lived. Some information can also come on land ownership on a census, plat maps, probate records or newspaper articles.

Listing an ancestor’s various occupations over their life is a good group of information to have on an ancestor. Use census information (compare the different decades for any changes), employment records, obituaries are very useful, and military records.

See if you can locate what clubs, churches and organizations an ancestor was a member of. Long before viewing TV and hearing radio, people socialized a great deal in a vast variety of organizations – cultural, civic and fraternal. It would be written up in local newspapers.

While searching at a courthouse of the ancestral hometown look for any civil or criminal records. You never know what might turn up there.

Photos: 1910s Woodmen of the World organization; Immigration to America; and vintage newspapers.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Locating Family Information

Other Approaches

Land Maps

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