Tips from the Pros: Analyze Old Data, by George G. Morgan

Take the time to reexamine information you have collected before. An analysis of the various pieces of genealogical information you have acquired for a subject before can reveal a great deal. Since we so often gather information from various places at different times and in different formats, sometimes it isn’t until we look at it again and arrange it in chronological sequence that patterns emerge. Look at your ancestors’ facts in context of a sequence of events that form a life story. By doing so, you may see details that point you on a path where you will uncover other facts.

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4 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Analyze Old Data, by George G. Morgan

  1. YES, YES! I’ve been in a quandary for years about a location for the birth of my “Doshy” Harrington. I had used her in a line for a DAR application and while scanning through that (not Harrington) line, I noticed that the DAR researcher had penciled in a note “born in Marion Co., KY.”

    What a find that was!

  2. For a year or more I searched intently for the town where my grandparents were married, looking all over the state of PA where they were both born and where they lived after they were married. One day while looking through the many notes I had collected I took the time to read the short blurb under their picture printed in the local newspaper when they celebrated their 50th anniversary. And there it was. They were married in NY state. I had the information all those years and didn’t realize it.

  3. George, your timing is impeccable. One of my brick walls has been one of my paternal great-grandmothers. Christine immigrated to the U.S. in the 1890’s from Norway along with family. However, the only info known now is her name, her country of origin,and the family lore that her siblings decided they didn’t like it here and returned to Norway. I had started on a project to go through all my family lines (notebooks, documents, etc.) and was doing that on this family line a couple of days ago. I picked up a battered, scrap of notebook paper on which I had (badly) scrawled info from a photo I had last seen sometime in junior high or high school. It included the initials of Christine’s brother AND — the name and location of the photographer. LOCATION! I have had this piece of paper for over 40 years and I finally REALLY read it. I now have a brand new area to check out from a very old clue. Sometimes it takes a while for the blinders to fall off.

  4. On several occasions I have looked back over old notes and records which did not seem relivant or applicable at the time, but kept them “just in case,” and I’ve been so glad I did. I decided to use Microsoft Word and create a biography for each person for whom I want to gather materials. Now when I find a new fact, I add it to the biography.

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