Sunday, October 12, 2008

Applying Cluster Genealogy to your Research

Take into account the many ways applying Cluster Genealogy to your research may help to overcome dead ends . Also remember to record your sources!

Consider a husband and wife – You have all the records for the husband, but not for the wife. You may to need to prepare a time-line and look at the major events in their lives. Do they have children? When did the husband die? What happened after the husbanded died? Could the wife have gone to live with other members of the family in another state?
Census records on other family members may reveal the wife as an additional member of the household. Property or probate records may provide a new location to check. Obituaries or death records of children may provide a new name if the wife remarried after the death of her first husband.
Cluster genealogy opens the possibilities of finding additional records by increasing the pool of individuals on whom you are researching.

Always note the source of information that you record or photocopy, and date it too. If the material is from a book, write the name, author, publisher, year of publication, ISBN or ISSN (if it has one), and also the library where you found it (or else photocopy the title page). Occasionally you’ll find that you need to refer to a book again, or go back to great aunt Matilda to clarify something she told you.
When searching for relatives in records, don’t pass over entries that are almost (but not quite) what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re searching for the marriage of John Brown and Mary Jones in 1850, make a note of the marriage of John Brown and Nancy Smith in 1847: this could be a previous marriage in which the wife died shortly after.
Don’t assume modern meanings for terms used to describe relationships. For example, in the 17th century a step-child was often called a “son-in-law” or “daughter-in-law,” and a “cousin” could refer to almost any relative except a sibling or child.

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Anonymous Research Paper said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

May 31, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

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