October 2013

I was recently searching for a family in immigration records. I found the one in the family for whom I was searching. He was traveling alone, arriving alone at Ellis Island.

Later on in my research, I discovered that he had siblings that may have arrived in the United States at about the same time as he did. I thought I knew the name of a sibling, so I searched the Ellis Island records for her as well. And, she was listed on the page previous to the one for whom I had previously searched. And, I found another possible sibling on the page before that page!

So, when checking for your immigrant ancestor, don’t forget to check out the pages before and after your ancestor. It could be that siblings were split-up, and they were not “together” when recorded on the manifest.



Have you visited a library lately to do research? What about the courthouse? Did someone help you while researching? What about the librarian who let you “bounce off” of him what you know about your ancestor? What about the county recorder that showed you how to use the microfiche machine?

Did you remember to thank him or her?

If you were at a place that takes donations, did you donate to them so that they can continue to provide records for you and others to search?

Something to think about.


The Internet is great for researching, isn’t it! And, you have probably found much out about your family by searching and searching. But, have you remembered your family tree chart?

Sometimes, we find ancestors we didn’t even know we had! And, we want to continue searching right away – we want to find all we can about our “new” ancestor. And then, we find another new one! And, another!

Don’t forget to make a family tree chart, and add these new ancestors to the chart. Add other pertinent information as well. If you don’t, it will be easy for you to get “lost” amongst the “new”!


Was your great-grandfather one of many children? Were there many photos taken of him? If not, you may find a photo from the files of a different family.

Did your great-grandparents go to family reunions? What about the family reunion of great-grandfather’s wife’s family? You may find a photograph of great-grandfather there. And, you don’t want to miss it! So, check out the spouse’s family!


As I have blogged before, it is important to label your photographs. You may be the only one that can identify the relatives in the photograph. And, another label to include is the name of the person who gave you the photo. Your children/grandchildren/cousins will be glad you did!


Recently, I was given an afghan. Now, this afghan was probably crocheted in the 1940’s – granny square, black edging, multicolored squares outlined in black. What was special was that this afghan was made by my great-grandmother, the woman after whom I was named.

This great-grandmother was born in Oldham County, Kentucky. She moved with her husband and children to Delray, Florida, in 1912. She and her husband had a “motel” there – many stayed in their Kentucky House and it was quite successful. Then, when the stock market crashed, she and her husband lost everything.

One of great-grandmother’s children (my great-aunt) aided in the raising of a young girl. This great-aunt never legally adopted the girl, but the girl was considered a member of the family. She has always been my “cousin.” This cousin, her husband and family, eventually moved to Indiana. Cousin had been given the afghan by her “grandmother” when cousin was young. And, the afghan was recently given to me.


If you have not found a death certificate for your ancestor, and they died within the time frame of available records, maybe they died in a different county than they lived.

My great-grandmother, Margaret Rodman McGhee Bradshaw, resided in Delray Beach, Florida. She died while visiting her son in Stanford, Kentucky. Her death certificate will not be in Palm Beach County, Florida, but in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

So, if you can’t find the record where your ancestor lived, look at the places where the children lived. You may find it there!


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