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Solving Problems in Your Family History

Using Gathered Sources to Solve Your Family History Questions

Go through your gathered research material and consider the original query. Is the material sufficient to answer the question? If not, are there any sources that have been ignored or missed? When you’ve discovered an answer, make sure it’s irrefutable. It is critical not to ignore anything and to ensure that all evidence leads to the same conclusion.

Information from Other Sources

Examine what has previously been researched in the family. It is possible that someone else has previously done research on the individual you are interested in and has a solution. If any information is discovered, it is critical to verify the sources of the information. Sometimes the material is inaccurate as it was not carefully researched. When depending on family stories, it is extremely important to double-check for sources. Family rumours abound with royalty and landed nobles; however, a skeleton in the closet is more likely to be discovered in family history.

Go from What is Known in Your Research to the Unknown

An ancestor does not exist in isolation. He was a real person with a family, friends, and neighbours. Sometimes a researcher can get closer to answering their questions by researching the other individuals in their life. Collect information about the ancestor’s location and historical period. This will offer the researcher an insight of what records were preserved at the period, which will aid them in their research.

It is important to keep in mind, there is still a lot of family history information that hasn’t been released online. This information in old manuscripts and parish records may provide crucial insights for your research. Once a potential source has been identified, contacting the archive should provide some insight on how to obtain access to it. If the researcher lives too far away to view the record, archives generally offer research services for a cost.

Remember: A family history is only as good as the sources it is based on.