Monday, March 17, 2008

Research Ideas and Tips

It's a snowy March day and I'm dreaming up all kinds of research ideas.  I am also trying to space spring and summer research trips out of my mind.  By tomorrow when the snow melts I'll be out walking and thinking about cemeteries, courthouses, visiting relatives and all that good stuff that goes through the minds of genealogists. 

In the meantime, let's talk about research ideas and tips.  Why doesn't your research succeed?  You need think outside the box.  That's the computer box where you are entering your data, the limited box of your research knowledge, and the box where you have isolated your ancestor.  Start looking for your ancestors by doing cluster genealogy.  This means you will study the area where you find your ancestor for other people.  They may be unknown to you now, but they just may become your friends.  When you can't find answers for where your ancestors came from, where they went to church, what prompted them to migrate, look at others around them.  Did they come from the same place?  Did they attend the same church?  Did they intermarry?  Was there a connection to the old country?  

Another tip is to study the geography and history of the area in which your ancestor lived as well as where he or she had lived prior to coming there.  What motivated them to move?  When was the county formed?  What were the parent counties?  Are you isolating your research to one county or one area?  Make a list of the records that can be found in the county, plus the parent counties.  Place your ancestor on a timeline and then progress through your plans for researching that area or areas.  

Then when the sun shines you can also start planning a research trip that will be successful.  Best of luck with your research on St. Patrick's Day!  ....  Ruby 


Professor Dru said...
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Professor Dru said...

Hello Ruby, I agree that cluster genealogy works. I have used it many times and have been successful.

Study history and geography also aide in successful research. I have been searching my family history for more than 13 years.