Your Quick Tips, 24 November 2008

Searching for Marriages
When searching for a marriage, I often find entering too much info into a search can result in thousands of results to sort through. To avoid this, first, try entering only the couple’s surname and the wife’s maiden name; if you still have too many returns, add a location and/or date.
Similarly, if you want to find unknown siblings, use advanced search option and enter the surname and mother’s maiden name and location, I have found this particularly useful.
Peter Murphy

Save Election Ballot Samples
Now that we have had what some may call a historical election, save any election ballot samples that came to your home. If you have already thrown them out, you can start with the next election.

New Jersey

AWJ Editor’s Note: You can search online for “[your state] election ballot sample.” Many locations still allow you to print out ballots; fill them in and keep them to let your descendants know how you voted.

Reach Out and Share
I currently have several family researchers who share ancestors with me. When any of us has hit a brick wall, often one or more of us can make that wall disappear. In the hunt for “official” records, we often forget that records in the hands of family members can be of equal or greater significance. Plus the family stories add dimension and have more to do with heritage than just names, dates, and places.

Recently I did a favor for a distant cousin (we share the same third-great-grandmother). I live near an area where one of his ancestors settled, lived, and died. I took a short trip for him to document the family burial plot. I was able to find the plot and share pictures with him.

Encourage your readers to reach out to other family researchers and share. It is a great way to pay it forward.

Deborah Martin-Plugh

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

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2 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 24 November 2008

  1. I love Deborah’s suggestion of paying it forward. Genealogy karma is some of the best there is! Whenever I do something like that, I always find some sort of treasure not long afterward. I just think of all the amazing volunteers who put their information out there first that helped me.

    Something I like doing is…when I print obituaries or other newspaper goodies, I transcribe the other information on the page and send it to county websites that have collections of these types of obits, memorabilia etc. It’s especially useful for obits of folks who share the page with my ancestors and for people who left an area, and the news tidbit says where they ended up settling for people to continue their search.

  2. Sometimes a favor can bring more blessings. Answering a query about Bor descendants in New York (who turned out to be of the line of my great-grandfather’s brother) led to my learning my great-grandfather had divorced with his feet and the person in the Netherlands who had asked the question was descended from him and his first wife. Each of us has learned a lot more than we would have if I had not answered his original question and later I was able to give him burial photos from Michigan.

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