Tuesday, November 3, 2009
GENEALOGY'S LITTLE SURPRISES - II
YOUNGEST IN FAMILY
In the old days it was usually the youngest daughter in any family who took in her parents as they aged. Along with the parents came the photo albums, family bible, etc. As you research, keep your eye open for modern-day descendants of that daughter. They may be sitting on a wonderful pile of ephemera that you had no idea existed. It’s happened to me twice, and both times it produced photographs of our common ancestor – a great-grandparent.
VITAL CERTIFICATES ADDENDA
While indexing for FamilySearch from digitized records, I discovered there are often other papers connected (but not necessarily stapled to) to the death certificates of people. Papers I saw contained information such as affidavits, corrected names, adoption information, family members, medical data, etc . These supplementary papers were also digitized but not noted in the index. Now that I know this, I would suggest any time you order birth, death or marriage records, you add this to your request: “…and any other papers or forms or documents that may be relevant to the person’s birth/death/marriage record.”
REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW
At different points in your research life you will discover information that you didn’t see the first time you looked. Whenever you have a short block of time with nothing pressing, grab a family file and review all the documents you’ve obtained. You will be surprised at what you see on the 2nd and 3rd and 4th go-rounds. One thing most people never notice on a death certificate is a little line that asks: How long in this city? This information may be a real help to your research.
WORK WITH DEED/COURTHOUSE INDEXES FROM SALT LAKE CITY
Things besides deeds are in Deed books. Finding a Power of Attorney noted in a Deed index sent me to the microfilmed Deed book where I found in the Affidavit the location of a missing family member. In Superior Court indexes I noted lawsuits filed by my great-great grandfather. Using the Superior Court books on microfilm, I discovered he sued a railroad and won. DO NOT ASSUME THAT EVERYTHING AVAILABLE CAN BE FOUND ON LINE! (yet!)
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BRIGHT IDEAS
It will do you no good if you have a bright idea about where you might look next for a missing ancestor and then fail to follow through. My purse used to be littered with sticky notes on which I had jotted down a research idea I had at work Make yourself a “bright idea” chart and note on it four things: a) Who it pertains to, b) What you need to look for, c) Where you should look, and d)A column for checking it off when you have followed through. Don’t let your bright ideas die.
That's it, folks!