These are the Holidays–Break the After-Dinner Boredom!

The St. Louis Genealogical Society recommended in their April 1995 newsletter that we periodically review our research notes. What documentation is still needed? What hidden clues can be uncovered? by asking these 20 questions of our family group sheets.

  1. Are all dates for all events complete? Or are many still estimates?
  2. Are all abbreviations correct?
  3. Is every fact documented?
  4. Have you found your ancestors in every census year during their lifetimes?
  5. Have you looked for citizenship or naturalization papers?
  6. Was the father married more than once?
  7. Do all the children belong to one wife?
  8. Is a pattern evident in the children’s names?
  9. Did the father serve in the military? What war? [Remember, unless he was exempt, he served. Check a good encyclopedia or history book for the span of his lifetime to determine what wars or rumors of wars happened then.]
  10. Figuring the dates, how many children could the mother have had?
  11. Do all her children belong to one husband? Many women outlived 2 or more husbands.
  12. Have you found the father’s will and probate records?
  13. Have you looked for a will for the mother? Lots of women filed wills.
  14. Have checked tax lists? They are recorded every 6 months–much information can be gleaned from these lists.
  15. Have you followed each child in the census to see if a parent or grandparent is living in the household?
  16. If widowed, did the mother live with her children in later years?
  17. Do you have the children listed in the correct birth order?
  18. Do you have a place of birth for each child.
  19. Have you checked to see if a book was ever written about your family?
  20. Do you have a set of maps for all of the places where this family resided–so you can spot the hidden clues on the maps themselves?

This list is a beginning only. Remember that these are the holidays when relatives and friends get together to celebrate–boredom. Break into the boredom with these questions and others that your relatives may know the answers to.

I asked my students to fill in the death entries for the people on one family group sheet using the new State Archives Death and Burial Index available online. One student said she couldn’t benefit because her guy died and was buried at sea coming to America. I suggested that she look anyway. Guess what she found! He died and is buried in Utah. When she called to share the information with her brother last Christmas–she discovered he had known it all along and had visited the grave site himself.

Break the after-dinner boredom! Share what you know and what you need to know. Your favorite genealogy guru, Arlene Eakle

PS This Genealogy News Sheet will be posted from the Family History Library for the next two weeks. I will have great genealogy things to share!

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One Response to These are the Holidays–Break the After-Dinner Boredom!

  1. MrRicky says:

    How do I find the State archives Death and Burial Index you mentioned in this blog?

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