Everyone gets stuck while doing their genealogy research. We lose the trail of our ancestor’s lives and aren’t sure how to pick it up next. This is my top tip to get your research back on track:
Resist creating a story about what happened to your ancestors.
It’s very natural to create an explanation for why you can’t find an ancestor’s record. We can get attached to our explanation and it becomes the factual reason and we just stop researching. Then we go around sharing it with others as a story. Resist the story!
Some examples I’ve heard:
“My great great grandfather was very private and hid from the census takers.”
“My grandmother didn’t like to tell people how old she was, so what’s on her death certificate is wrong.”
“The children had a fight with their parents because of the Civil War and all moved to different cities.”
Stick to the facts – birth, death, baptism, marriage, buying land, wills and probate. Look for those documents in the counties where they lived. Gather all the facts you can on your ancestor and lay it all out in front of you, and then see what it tells you.
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