Look at the Walls
If you are visiting a genealogical society or local history library with your digital camera, be sure to look on the walls. A favorite item for wall display is a historic map of the area. With your flash disabled you can take photos of the map for later reference. I’ve used this approach to locate the creek named in a deed, the road assigned to an ancestor for road labor, the location of a forge mentioned in a court case, and several ancestors’ farms labeled by name on the maps. Often these maps on display are the only copy available. Don’t overlook them.
Pay Attention to Detail
It certainly does help if one pays attention to all details. For example, I thought I had found a manifest with my great-grandfather’s ship arrival. The pieces seemed to fit, but the name was difficult to make out, so I wasnâ€™t certain until I saw the name of the person he was going to meet. I remembered my mom saying she had cousins by that same name. Then I knew I had the correct manifest.
Itâ€™s a Small World–Talk to People
On a recent airline trip from Minneapolis to Seattle I asked my seatmate where she was from and when she said Hopkinsville, Kentucky, I asked her if there were very many of the Miller or Chapman family living in that area. There was silence for quite some time and she finally said both names were in her family. She had not done research but her brother-in-law has done extensive work on the family ties. It is a small world after all! I am waiting for her to come back from a cruise to Alaska to make contact with the brother-in-law and am most anxious to compare lines with him.Â
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