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Monday, February 2, 2015

What are you Missing?

Is your genealogy missing names?
The clues which the genealogist and historian bypasses is rather startling.  We are a record-keeping people and every court house is stuffed full of public records about its residents, past and present. Sure, examine the census records, but there was no census before 1790, so what are you going to do? Also, have you compared the information from the census with bible records, cemeteries, military records and court house records?  All of this is a confirmation of itself, providing further clues, adding puzzle pieces to a very long and complicated family history dating back a very long time. Each generation doubles in size, adding new sets of grandparents.  There are tons of records to view in the county where your ancestors resided (also adjoining counties).  The details of every paper written there provide clues.  One should read all estate records and old wills, plus deeds, tax digests, guardianships, poor house records, orphans, military pensions and every document directly or indirectly related to that family.  The names of witnesses, purchasers and merchants should be noted because they were part of a life-style.  While visiting old church cemeteries, it is a good idea to scout around, ask questions and try and locate an old church register of baptisms, marriages and deaths. After churches dissolved, these old registers became the property of someone, went to an attic somewhere.  The people in local communities know these things. Until all possible records of a certain person's lifetime are examined, the genealogy is incomplete.

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