Your Quick Tips

Seek Out Local Seniors

I agree with the Tipster about checking with local historical societies for information.  In many smaller towns, however, there is no organized society. I’ve discovered that no matter how tiny the town, there will be a place serving lunch for senior residents.

I’ve met some wonderful people who are delighted to welcome a visitor who is interested in their community.  Believe me, they know the local history, can tell you exactly where the old cemeteries are located (and who has the burial records stored at home).  They recall buildings, homes, and schools that are no longer present, and can relate anecdotes that don’t always make it into books.  Twice I’ve even discovered a distant kin!

Be sure first to introduce yourself to the senior center staff.  This is not only a courtesy but inevitably the staff hostess will take you straight to the senior who has the informal title of “Local Historian!”  Remember that the “magic hour” for meeting everyone is lunchtime!

Elaine Sunde

Correspondence Log

In reference to the Correspondence Log tip in this week’s Ancestry Weekly Journal, I maintain all correspondence whether I send or receive it, in a “Correspondence” file on my computer. I maintain it by correspondent in order by last name, first name, date of correspondence.  I also include these annotations:

  • L = letter
  • E = e-mail
  • S = I sent it
  • R = I received it

This allows me to append any additional messages to the original message.  As an example, a distant cousin sends me a letter, I scan it in under his/her name and the date the letter was sent.  If I respond, I append a copy of my letter to the one I received.  If he/she responds back, that is also appended to the original letter.  In this case the file name would look like this:

Smith, John (2006-01-15)Lrsr.doc

This gives me a complete history of the correspondence in one document. I also do this with e-mails.
Bob Walter

Site for Genealogical Educators

Genealogical society program planners, genealogy librarians, speakers and teachers should check out a new blog, Genealogy Education for almost daily tips and ideas on program planning, teaching, speaking and related issues for those in the world of genealogy education. Reader feedback is encouraged. The entries are interesting. The writer however has a quirky sense of humor. Take a look.

Kenneth G. Aitken, MLS
Family History Education Services

Thanks to all of this week’s contributors! If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the Ancestry Weekly Journal, please state so clearly in your message.


One thought on “Your Quick Tips

  1. Checking out the seniors in small towns is DEFINITELY the way to go! A few years ago I visited the small town in SD where my grandfather had been the local Dr but had left in 1926. At the local feeding center we were welcomed and then introduced. Several seniors came over and told us some anecdotes, a real treat for my teenage daughter to hear first-hand sharp memories about her great-grandfather some 70 years later. So go for it; you are also giving an uplift to people who may not get much attention otherwise.

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