Thursday, October 11, 2018

Methods to Follow Hard to Find People

Methods to Follow Hard to Find People By Susi Jones Pentico
# 2

This will upset some but others will just chuckle.  Sometimes I dig until I can not dig any more for awhile and when I am away from the problem, the solution is right before my eyes.

Yes, there is such a thing as over doing and over seeing and not seeing what is right in front of us.
So if total despair has set in, set it aside, leave it alone, do something completely different.

Many times you will be amazed at the comment you missed the dates you read but did not read and information in your face.

For actually looking, one needs to expand the mind and not look at such a narrow space of place or time.  I loved George Schweitzer for his so savy ways of expanding his research.

1. Start at the place last known.  2. Expand out 50 miles, expand out again to  100 miles.

2. The earlier the time frame the generally farther one needed to expand the search.

3. Remember their names were varied. Try all variants.

4. One thing he ( Dr. Schweitzer) told us was," Write down the family story" whether true or not. As you work the problem through, generally there is truth in part to most stories. IE basis for story was the beginning truth."

5. Use all normal methods for research:  Wills, Probates, School Records, Tax Records {there were several types of taxes then} Business licenses*, marriage records, Obituaries, Land Records, and census.  Census is only as good as the person giving the information, so not always correct. It may have been a child or neighbor whom answered the questions.

*  I found birth information in a Tax Application Form in Maryland for one of my Ancestors, which verified what I suspected but was not what the family had as a record for birth. I of course shared it with all involved. time period 1780's.

6. Remember records went where the person desired to place them not always were today we would think they would be. Our laws are different today.

7.  Make sure you make a Timeline of the events and of the person's life. I use a single page for that information to be kept together.  The Gaps may help you to realize what is missing.

8. Check SAR/ DAR Records for the surname of interest.   I had forgotten that one and lost 40 years digging for someone. Ironic I used it for others but thought he was to old to be Rev War.

9.  Share your information with other family members or with friends, many times talking out a
problem will bring it in better light to see.

10.  Never give up. You may  never find all you want but even collateral information can verify
a certain amount of validity.

No. 3 will be next.


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