Me (It’s my opus and I’ll appear as young as I wish – okay Bix.)
Have fun with it:
Hey, it’s more than
just a wee bit dry and tedious, all this searching of lists and databases,
so if you do get into queries and posts – have fun with it. You will find
that things are better when they are light and cheerful. It’s your hobby
and pass-time, not a critical do or yer gonna die situation. It’s as much
fun as you allow it to be, honest… and you will find there are a lot of
amusing, intelligent, easy going people in this world who delight in
helping and having a giggle.
The 3 R’s of it:
Reflect, Relax, Respond
Here are some important
“Have I” questions:
1) Interviewed all
living relatives in the line?
2) Checked Surname Thesaurus site for possible alternate spellings?
3) Checked for War Medals, military service, apprenticeships, or court
4) Tried Surname Navigator in all applicable countries with all spellings?
5) Checked all possible surname boards at Ancestry and Genforum?
6) Seen what searching for images might produce using your surnames?
7) Checked Abe Books for any possible hits using keywords or phrases?
8) Checked all possible related census information across ALL years and
9) Investigated any applicable available Monumental Inscriptions?
10) Tried advanced searches at Google and at Yahoo on key players’ names?
11) Tried searching Roots Web and Igeneas trees for possible matches?
12) Ever posted a query on the present brick wall?
13) Tried using Batch Number search techniques?
14) Tried to contact distant relatives by snail mail?
15) Located and/or visited the headstones of ancestors?
16) Confirmed all information as fact with a recognized source?
17) Visited a LDS center, and actually looked at a few microfilms?
18) Thanked your marital partner for putting up with this family tree
obsession of yours?
If you answered “No” to any of the above you may be missing things or be
Jumping the gap back in
time from the end of Registrations in Scotland:
It does tend to get a
wee bit tougher once you don’t have the SR records and their exact mapping
of lineage to depend on.
In addition to death
registers which are the best means to hop this transition period, you will
also have Census information to make use of in order to jump back a
generation or two.
Even though the
earliest useable census is 1841 they all do contain age, birthplace, and
occupations for each individual. I would caution that the information may
not always be totally reliable, but if repeated across several of the
census it becomes more probable as being close.
So your quest might be:
Firstly -to find the
couple at the top of your tree on several of the census to roughly
establish their parish of birth, and an approximate year of birth.
Next – (Hopefully the
couple in question had children) – examine the birth sequence and names,
and consider what their grandparent(s) names might be if the traditional
naming patterns of Scotland were followed.
Lastly – Search IGI
looking for the couple born to the corresponding possibilities of parents
indicated by your studies above within the counties and time periods that
are most likely.
Should you find some
likely candidates this way – then investigate them well in an attempt to
find more information that hopefully will prove the link.
Also do not forget to
make use of all sibling information that you have come across. – Just
perhaps a brother or sister of your target couple may have records
indicating their mutual parents. Or the naming patterns of their children
might be used as a supplementary tool.
In addition to all of
the above do not forget the possible value of:
apprentice records, etc.
Other persons’ posted Gedcoms or trees that may have listings of your
Other relative posts and queries at this and other boards
Advanced search engine techniques
The Brick Wall:
You will hit
at least one of these – where you can’t find anything, anywhere to take
you further – no birth, marriage, census or death data on a person.(– You
It happens to everyone.
(Usually in the period about mid/late 1700’s where everything gets vague
real quick and the available on line data, or hardcopy data, is minimal.)
Rather than flail about
the net wasting your time – take this opportunity to get all your filing
done, organize/correct your information, and get all the input done to
your tree software that you’ve been putting off. In other words – relax,
regroup and rethink.
Then – look at all the
confirmed information you have concerning the problem and look for what is
fact, what is missing, and what you have tried so far.
Print off the “family
book” and miscellaneous reports that the software you use produces – read
it, analyze it, look for hints, possible clues, conflicting information,
and holes. Attack the holes and conflicts.
Devise a NEW
plan using NEW methods and NEW sources. Get away from the
keyboard and go down to the local LDS Family Center and spend some time
looking at some microfilms of parish records. Try a few of the alternate
ideas mentioned well above. Buy a few area related “off-line” databases or
books that might help (things that are worthwhile are not always free.)
Most people get
frustrated when methods or sources that yielded quick success in the past
You now will have to
develop a NEW fresh approach using alternate methods and sources.
Firstly – put up a
NEW well written, short, but sufficiently detailed query specifying
exactly what you seek on several different sites. Repeat this as necessary
every few weeks with a NEW re-written one, at a few different
board(s) and possibly NEW ones to reach a NEW and different
audience. And don’t limit yourself to just one end of the chain as far as
places go – maybe somebody in Canada has info on someone in Scotland and
vice versa. Give occupation and military service boards a go too if
Next – investigate
all persons thoroughly surrounding the individual – all siblings and
known associates and witnesses to family registered events. You have to
attack the problem from the side now. It is quite possible their
information may be more readily available and lend clues.
Then analyze all
you know – the naming patterns may indicate a fathers name, a possible
birth date, a possible place – then start fresh and go again.
After all - the person
Should you have read
this small piece before I’m sure you will have noticed that it’s been
broken up just a bit and many of the former links listed are gone- Fear
not - The dissection was to aid those with slower connections to download
sections more quickly. All the former links, and a few more, are attached
in the trailing, much more compact, section – enjoy.
If you “Pay forward”
favours from one to another, we all will win.
Sow in hope………………………….
Granddad Charles in Drumelzier
Here’s tae us,
Wha’s like us?
And they’re a’ deid!
Rook as in chess, bee as in hive.