Your Quick Tips, 01 September 2008

Migrating Relatives
Don’t assume that because only a birth date is on an old family group sheet that the individual never married or had a family. Sometimes, especially during the 1930s and 1940s, family members, often young men, would migrate to distant cities to find work. Often these individuals settled in these cities, married, had families, and perhaps rarely returned to visit relatives left behind. When this happens families tend to lose touch, and, in some cases, resentment may build among those left behind. So when a family history book is compiled, it could be easy for whole branches of the family to be ignored. In short, be sure to do a very thorough nationwide search for the death dates and places of these individuals, including SSDI, military records. Also, talk with elderly relatives and try to locate an obituary once you have determined where the person(s) died. You may be surprised to find that you have a much larger family that you originally had thought.

Linda Larson

Sorting Timelines in Word Tables
Regarding Beverley Gutenberg’s tip on creating timelines using Excel, you can sort Microsoft Word tables, and they are more easily revised than Excel tables. I have used them successfully when sorting by column. Of course the sorting variable has to be consistent within each column, a year for example or a surname only.

James E. Jacobsen

Use Your Calendar to Compose Christmas Letters
I agree with Debbie regarding the value of Christmas letters. I have been taking my calendar down after Thanksgiving to use to write my Christmas letter. Reviewing the items I have marked through the months is a quick refresher of the past year. You can easily remember visits, trips, events you have experienced. I do a thumbnail sketch of each month. My Christmas letter is one page long. It will be read if you keep it short!
Amy Kenneley

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