January 31, 2012
My name is Maggie Champion, and I am the sole proprietor of Maggie’s Genealogy Service. I am a professional genealogist, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
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December 6, 2013
As you research for information about your ancestor, many records will be found. Some in books, some on microfilm, some online. As you write down, or make a copy of, the information, make sure to also write down the source.
When I find information, whether or not I think it is pertinent, the first thing I do is write down my source information. I don’t need to write the info down in a certain format – that can be done later when I have my “Evidence Explained” handy. Later, when I discover that I do want to use the information, the source information is right there with the info – just waiting for me to use!
December 3, 2013
If you have found the location where your ancestor lived, don’t forget about looking for school records.
School records can give quite a bit of information – some I have found even mentioned that the student was the nephew of the teacher! And, if a school census was taken (many were taken during the 1920′s), look for those as well. When I found a school census, I discovered that my grandfather was the census taker!
When looking for the school records, examine the history of the schools in the area – what schools are no longer open? Were schools consolidated? If so, find out, from the local government, what happened to the records of the closed schools? It could be they are being stored at the superintendent office or one of the schools.
Good luck in your search!
November 29, 2013
When encountering a brick wall, don’t forget to examine records of the extended family.
Look at the siblings of the ancestor. Also, what about cousins? It could be that by examining these records, more will be found about the ancestor. And, even if you don’t, you will still find out interesting family info.
November 26, 2013
How long has it been since you looked for info on great-grandfather Joseph? Has it been quite awhile?
Websites are always updating the records which they have. It could be that the grave which you looked for on findagrave.com and didn’t find, is now there!
So, check again!
November 22, 2013
A few weeks ago, I could not read the handwriting on a marriage document. The name of the church was very difficult to read. The wedding took place in the 1920′s in Bronx, New York. So, I “Google-d” what I could decipher of the name of the church. Google helped by asking me, “Did you mean…” I found the correct name!
November 19, 2013
Recently, while researching an immigrant, I was trying to decipher the name of the person the immigrant was joining in the United States. I was having a really difficult time reading the handwriting of the Ellis Island recorder. I put the immigration record aside for a while.
Then, I was looking at the marriage record of the same immigrant. The name of one of the witnesses sounded vaguely familiar. So, I searched through my research with the hope of finding out where before I had heard the name.
And, what I discovered was that the immigration name sounded like the marriage name – it was the same person!
November 15, 2013
When visiting the cemetery to look for a specific grave, make sure to map the location of the grave. Draw a picture, making sure to add the graves on all sides of the one in which you are interested. Also, walk through the entire cemetery looking for the same last name. Relatives may be buried in the same cemetery. Wouldn’t you want to find your ancestor’s relatives on the first visit to the cemetery?
You never know when you may get a chance to revisit a cemetery, so gather as much information as possible the first visit!