Friday, April 13, 2018

What Do You Mean You Are Done?

Why is it that anyone who is really and truly into doing genealogy research laughs when they hear someone say that they are done, they have finished their family tree?  I've been doing genealogy for many many years now. I picked up the torch and have been continuing the research on my father's side of the family that was started back in the 1900's at least by my great grandmother as she maintained the family bible and then continued by my grandmother and my aunt as they created the family tree genealogy paperwork for becoming members of the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) and the books about the family that followed. I was very thankful that they were good record keepers, making sure they documented information and not only listed our direct ancestors but made sure that in most cases they recorded the names of their siblings and in many cases there spouse and children's names also. Now granted there were times along the way that I've come across where some records were not as complete as others. I found this to be the case with many secondary Surnames which were not direct ancestors but were part of the various families they married into.

Once again I come back to those aggravating brick walls! What I have found is that if you start checking out your ancestors siblings and their families, often you come across information that is written up on their biographies, in newspaper clippings, census reports, or family stories that shed more light on the family and can help you break down that brick wall.  Read over the obituaries and be sure to check all the family information listed on the writeups on Find A Grave. You will be surprised how often a new name will pop up, a maiden name on a spouse, or even a second spouse.

I've put things down for months at a time and then as time has passed, gone back and picked it up again to now find new information has been added to records that are available on line or new family members have posted to a family tree that I have access to or someone has posted looking for information on a message bulletin board. Search various areas where your relatives lived rather than just searching by their name. Try searching for The Johnson Family of Winchester Connecticut as an example and just see what all comes up.  Your state or city genealogical societies are also a great source for information.

So you think you are done?  I hope you realize now that you truly are not, even if you think you are. You are just laying the ground work for the next generation family historian.

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