MISCELLANEOUS GOOD TO KNOW INFO:
If you have a question, ASK for help!
- READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY!
- One spelling for a name is a “modern invention”. Be open minded about the spelling of names. See the Ocupsyshun Census Taker handout www.preservingtime.org/ocupsyshun-census-taker.html
- IN FACT, BE OPEN MINDED ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING IN OLD RECORDS!
- LOCATION can often be more helpful in finding your family than dates. Adjust your search parameters to reflect different locations an individual or family lived in.
- Remember to search for a woman using both her married name(s) and maiden name. Also search for “Mrs. John Doe” using Mrs. + her husband’s name.
- Expand the date range for a person’s birth when searching. A person may have lied about their age or the information may have been given by someone else. If no results are found, expand the range even farther.
- Search a database with parents’ names only to see if additional children are found in the records.
- Don’t assume that two children with the same name in a family are the same child. If a child died, parents would often name a child that came later the same name.
- If a family appears at the top or bottom of a census page, always turn the page to see if additional family members are located on adjacent pages. Keep your eyes open for other members of your family. Until recently, families generally lived and moved together.
- When searching, also make note of others in the record. Many times they will also be family members, neighbors or associates (acronym: FANs). This information can help you locate additional information in other records.
- ASK: does this make sense? Children were not born before their parents or many years after their death.
- Don’t rely on your memory—Take or copy notes and track the work you do!