Whether you are a beginning genealogist or an experienced one, there is always room for some new ideas to make researching and discovering your accurate ancestors easier. These are some of the best tips to assist you in making new genealogical discoveries more easily.
- Use the Social Security Death Benefits Index and Newspaper Obituaries
You will want to use these magnificent resources liberally in your genealogy research. Together, these two things help you find out about recently deceased relatives who may not be on your same line, but with whom you share a distant ancestor. The more you know about that ancestor’s descendants, the better position you will be in to learn more about that ancestor, including things that may be brick wall items like parents or place of birth.
- Don’t Forget the Census
Using the US federal census as well as state census records that were taken in between the federal ones, you can find ancestors that have remained hidden, and learn where to look for more information about them. You can also find information on their families, such as parents and children, that you did not previously know.
- Use Your Smartphone
You can use your smartphone to record genealogy interviews with older, living relatives. You never know who you are going to run into or hear from in your family, and having your smartphone on you allows you to record important genealogical information on the fly. You can also use the camera on your phone to make digital copies of important documents that may be owned by others. Your smartphone is actually an invaluable genealogical tool.
- Use WorldCat
WorldCat is a worldwide library catalog. It has more than two billion books around the world listed in it. Enter the cities and zip codes of locations where your ancestors lived to find books that may pertain to them, or use your own location information to find the genealogical resources closest to you. If a book you need is not near you, you can use the title you found on WorldCat to learn if there is a digital version of it, or if you can order it on interlibrary loan.
- Make it Easy for Other Genealogists to Find You
Other researchers may have the information you need or access to old family photos or heirlooms. Make it easy for them to find you so that you can share information. Do this by keeping a genealogy blog online where you discuss your genealogical research, and make the contact information easy to find on the blog.
- Join Your Local Genealogical Society
There are probably people in your area that have information on local ancestors that you need, and you likewise probably have the information they can use. Joining your local genealogical society allows you to connect with these people. It also allows you access to local genealogical resources that may not be found anywhere else.