Keeping Up With the In-Laws
In tracing the family tree of family members of collateral lines, (i.e., the descendants of your aunts and uncles of various degrees), usually one can run through the standard list of indexes, books, records, and databases for a person’s name to find the usual birth, marriage, and death information one needs, but if you are researching a relation who is suspected or known to have been married and the couple moves away from their home county or out-of-state, you may lose all trace of your research subjects using local records, with perhaps one exception, the in-laws, who may have remained “at home.”
While not a part of every person’s family tree research, it does prove useful to keep track of the parents of every person who marries into a family tree. Look for the same set of records for them, at least vital records such as birth certificates, marriage records, death certificates, funeral home records, and obituaries, as you would for any other member of the family.
Oftentimes, the death certificates will give the name and address of the informant, usually a relative, and maybe the one you lost track of and are looking for. Funeral home records and obituaries usually list all the survivors of an individual, where they lived, etc., and so, in this way you may be able to follow the movements of younger generations by locating the death records and obituaries of older generations.
And, so, in keeping up with the in-laws, you may be able to discover just where your aunts, uncles, and cousins disappeared to.
Philip A. Naff
Saving Finds in PowerPoint
I started using PowerPoint to store my “finds”–census pages, immigration records, etc. I can insert an image I have previously saved or I can copy/paste a “screen print” of an image. I especially like to magnify an image on my screen and then copy/paste the “screen print.”
PowerPoint lets me make notations about the image and I can even highlight the portion of the document that is pertinent. I can make a separate slideshow for a particular family line, individual family, a passenger manifest, or group of census records–the possibilities are endless. I can arrange the images in any order I choose and then play it as a slideshow so the images are nice and big on my computer screen; you can even hook up a laptop and show it on your TV.
This has made saving and reading images much easier on my eyes. As a bonus, it is a wonderful way to share my documents with other family members. They can easily view all of the documents using a free, downloadable PowerPoint viewer (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=428d5727-43ab-4f24-90b7-a94784af71a4&displaylang=en) even if they don’t already have PowerPoint on their computer. The files are easily organized and attached to e-mail. I am now saving and sharing many more images because it is so easy to do!
Regarding the funeral cards, my mother keeps what is affectionately called our “Deadie Book.” It is just a small photo album that contains all the funeral cards of relatives and friends alike. It really came in handy when I was stumped on some family membersâ€™ dates of death.
If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!
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