Monday, May 4, 2009

Time lines and such

Most Fridays (recently) you can find me at our local family history group. It meets at the YMCA in the Turner Center (yea verily I am old enough). 1st Friday of each month I help some of the other members with their research. Many of them have been long time residents and have fascinating stories to tell not only about themselves but their ancestors also. Last Friday I learned a goodly amount about the early owners and farmers of what is now Warner Park.

What has this all got to do with time lines you may be asking yourself.

One of the ladies had a considerable amount of information about the ancestor she is researching but had gotten stuck regarding when he had come to the US from Britain. I looked at what she had and asked a number of questions e.g. have you looked in the census records, land records, military records, court records  etc. Some areas she had a considerable amount of information, other areas were sketchy. 

My suggestion was so create a timeline by looking at what she has and pulling out information from each piece of paper she owns.  This would help her see what gaps there are in her research and what documentation she needs to pursue. 

So where are you stuck in your research? Do you know what records to look for. In the above instance she needs to get a death record to hopefully verify parentage. 

Just because you have looked at a piece of information once does not mean you have seen everything of relevance that is written there. Go back and take another look, I know I will be.

"And such". You never know where information can come from. In the previously mentioned researchers story she was standing in line one day and someone happened to overhear her talking. He had some information about her ancestor and gave her a copy. In another instance someone saw a picture she had and asked for a copy. It ended up in a book. 

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