Hidden, Non-Obvious, Genealogy Migration Evidence: New Breakthroughs for Hard-to-Find Ancestors

For many years, Americans chose places to retire in climates of perpetual summer year round: Arizona desert, Florida beaches, California high desert, North Carolina Outer Banks, Puget Sound forests–regardless of their main residence during their lives.

Now, more and more Americans are returning to their origins to retire, whatever the climate.

Consider how this trend can aid your genealogy. Old houses are renovated, unused spaces in local cemeteries become active again. Heritage books now have descendants of original families to do write-ups. Celebrations recall or even re-enact the family stories. And you can google all of this on the internet! You know the current generations and you can link them to their origins.

Are you ready to master the migration evidence in some of the most common sources you search. Evidence you probably overlooked the first time through.

Military Pensions: places of residence between enlistment and pension claim. Place of enlistment. Places of residence of persons who file affidavits in support of the pension.

Church Records: itineraries of circuit riders where your cleric found his bride. Annual reports with their locations of churches, congregations meeting in homes of members, and assignments of clergy. Missionary journals with accounts of travel, overnight stopovers, visits with family along the way.

Probates: purchase of estate items by out of area relatives. Legacies from persons who die overseas. Precise style of burial specified in the will. Locations of landed property bequeathed to heirs or distributed to heirs.

Cemetery Tombstones: occupation identified by tombstone art. Arrangement or layout of graves in the family burial plot. Precise place of birth for immigant ancestors. Type, color, and style of tombstone.

Mortality Schedules: length of residence in the state or the community and previous residence. Census taker comments.

Vital Records: city registers for citizens of city, for non-residents, for those who live within the walls of the city, and those who live without. Places of birth for father and mother given on death certificates of siblings.

Sexton’s Records: removal records or what is called bodies in transit. Original spellings of immigrant names–compare with name books for origins. Who paid for the funeral and burial, with residence. Place of final internment, especially those out of the area.

It is common for genealogists to pop in and out of these common sources, leaving much evidence behind in the records. Remember, what you extract from the source usually determines how successful your research will be. Take an extra minute and look for these hidden, non-obvious evidences.

Heritage Creations Christmas Tour runs from 5 Dec through 11 Dec at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City UT. Linda Brinkerhoff, Afton Reintjes, and I are consultants on that tour. If you have never participated–plan to attend next year. We have a great time immersing ourselves in non-stop research, with amazing results–what else can I say? I am a legend in my own mind. Seriously, you can make a lot of research progress and have a fun experience with other genealogists at the same time.

***Important Note***
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Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

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