July 2018 is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.
Welcome to DAY 31 of the 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips series! Need to start at the beginning of the series or catch up? Start here.
DAY 31 (The Last of Our Genealogy Tips!) – Go Back To The Beginning
Today’s the last day in our 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips. We did it! You now have 31 new tips and strategies in your genealogy toolbox.
Our last tip? Go back to the beginning.
As genealogy researchers, we pour ourselves into the research of our ancestors. Research projects can take months and years to complete. We collect multiple records over time – some related to our research and well, some we hope will be needed at a later date.
Our research can get stalled sometimes. We come up against brick walls in our research. We just get plain stuck. (Sometimes there is no other way to put it.)
That’s when the time has come to go back to the beginning of your research.
Put away what you know about your research. Put aside what you think you know. Put away any pre-conceived notions about your ancestors.
Just start back at the beginning. Pull out the records you have collected over the months or years, and just start reading. You will start to notice things you missed early in your research. You’ll find some things now make sense, because of subsequent research. You will start to recognize your ancestor among other men of the same or similar name. You will have new ideas for future research into your ancestor.
One of my long standing brick walls is William Harward (sometimes Howard) of Wake and Orange Counties, North Carolina. He has a common name for the area and in multiple generations of the his family. This summer I went back to the beginning on William. I pulled out all of the records (hard copy and digital), notes, and previously made timelines.
I just read and discovered….
I had the answer to one of the biggest questions about William right in front of me. I did not need more records – I just needed to interpret those early records in light of subsequent research.
Are you working on a research project that has taken months and years? Go back to the beginning!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Go back to the beginning of a long standing or stalled genealogy research project and start over.
Check out previous posts in the 31 Days of Out of the Box Genealogy Tips:
- Day 1 – Volunteer!
- Day 2 – Genealogy Wikis
- Day 3 – Cemetery Research
- Day 4 – Newspaper Society Pages
- Day 5 – Vertical Files
- Day 6 – Religious Periodicals
- Day 7 – Unplug Your Genealogy
- Day 8 – Cultural Periodicals
- Day 9 – Facebook Groups
- Day 10 – DNA Education
- Day 11 – Funeral Records
- Day 12 – Occupational Records
- Day 13 – School Records
- Day 14 – Civil War Veterans Homes
- Day 15 – War of 1812 Pensions
- Day 16 – Twitter Chats
- Day 17 – Mortality Schedules
- Day 18 – Non-population Schedules
- Day 19 – 1890 Census Fragments
- Day 20 – Tax Records
- Day 21 – Private Collections
- Day 22 – WorldCat
- Day 23 – Merchant Records
- Day 24 – FlickR
- Day 25 – Map Collections
- Day 26 – Road Records
- Day 27 – County Heritage Books
- Day 28 – That 3rd Cousin
- Day 29 – Cookbooks
- Day 30 – Google Books
Pin for Future Reference!