Is your genealogy research stuck? What happens to your genealogy search when you can no longer find your ancestors in the traditional genealogy records? Have you considered exploring uncommon genealogy resources?
You have exhausted the census records, the will collections, the vital records and the land records? No family Bible exists. No one is left to tell the family stories.
If you research for long, you will come to this point. We all do. 🙂
This is the point where you take your genealogy research up a notch (or two!).
Explore These 6 Uncommon Genealogy Resources!
- Letters/Postcards – Ask family members about old keepsake letters. Typically, you will need to ask. People don’t really think about offering these up. Letters are often found tucked in a family Bible, a favorite book, among family photographs or in the back of the unmentionables drawer! (But I didn’t mention it.)
- Baby Books – Baby books are not just for those cute baby pictures. Take a close look at the gift list or list of congratulations. Those listed are frequently family members! Make note of any name you find and determine the relationship (if any) to the child. Bonus: This is a great place to find female ancestors and potentially married names.
Yes, I hear you saying, “But, Lisa, this all sounds so tedious and time consuming!” .
Sometimes, genealogy research can be tedious and time consuming, but being thorough is important to making accurate relationship determinations. No one wants to cut a branch off the family tree when that mistake could have been avoided. (Ahem.)
When traditional records have been exhausted or if they no longer exists, think outside the genealogy box. Seek out those unusual genealogy records. Consider what your ancestor may have kept and passed down to generations. Consider what unique records the community may have created and kept.
Tip – Check state and local archives digital collections for unique and unusual genealogy resources. North Carolina Digital Collections is a great example of what can be found.
Your Action Item Today
- On a blank sheet of paper, write the ancestor’s name, location and time period you are researching. Brainstorm all the different types of uncommon genealogy resources and “out of the box” records your ancestor could have potentially created. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Start! Do not overthink at this point. If an idea comes to mind write it down.
- Now you are ready to create your research plan.
Have you come across an interesting “out of the box” genealogy record? Share in the comments below!
Other Posts of Interests
- How To Research “Out of the Box” Genealogy – (Round 2)
- 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips – Volunteer! – Check out the whole 31 Day series!
- 15 Places to Find the Genealogy Records You Need
- How To Research Your Destitute Ancestors – Yes, It’s Possible
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