Tips from the Pros: Follow Siblings’ Records, from George G. Morgan

Madelon, Edwin, Muriel, Marjorie and Ethel DyerRecords of siblings may include valuable references to the ancestor you are researching. Sometimes when you hit a “dead end” it is helpful to locate records of your ancestor’s brother or sister, and follow their paper trail until you locate common ancestors. A sibling’s obituary, for instance, may contain details or clues to place of birth, parents’ names, and even to other unknown siblings. By following these leads, you may find a path past your dead end to parents and grandparents. From there, you may be able to work downward to confirm or prove relationship to your otherwise “dead end” ancestor. 

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7 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Follow Siblings’ Records, from George G. Morgan

  1. Thank-you for this tip. I have found siblings listed so now I can research them to find out more information that I can not find. I had not thought about tracing the roots from others.
    Obits do usually show the names as they are spoken not as they were given and some also list where they are living at the time of that person’s death.
    I had a similar find in an old newspaper clipping–a marriage notice had the sister’s married name and were she was living with her husband. She was thought deceased as she was not showing up in any records localy.

  2. This is a great tip. I have found this to be true-by my fumbling around and thinking how else I might find information. I think we might all agree that genealogy tracing is like playing with a puzzle–it is so satisfying to find that “perfect piece” and then so many other pieces fall into place.

  3. What do you do when all you have is a marriage? I don’t know who her parents or siblings are.

  4. Great advice if you have siblings to look for. In my case my Ancestor was sent to Canada first by Barnardos in 1904.
    Then to Detroit about 1916. I know that she had children.
    Died in Troy Detroit August 1985. I have hit a brick wall after 1930 census.
    Cannot obtain info on where she actually died, where buried or if there were any surviving children/grandchildren.
    Being in England makes it very difficult.

  5. This is probably the single thing that’s helped me most in my research. By not just focusing on my direct ascendants but looking at siblings, I’ve uncovered a LOT more information about my ancestors, and it increases the probability that you’ll find someone else researching your tree who has great information to share. I ran across one woman who not only had photos of my ancestors, but personal correspondence and info on where to go online to get all their obituaries. It was a gold mine. I’ve had a half-dozen more similar experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I’d narrowed my focus to my direct line.

  6. I was beginning to wonder Who and how many distant relatives do I include in my tree, but one thought kept crossing my mind, maybe someone will see them and give me clues to my dead end ancestors. After reading the comment by Karen, I knew my hunch was right. Not to mention the wonderful people you meet and the help they give. I make sure I answer every e-mail I receive and give as much help as I can. My Tree grows and grows, and little by little the brick walls crumble.

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