If you have been following the
instructions, great! If not you might first want to check the genealogy
sections of: Edition
1, Edition 2
, and Edition 3 before continuing on, or you may choose to just check out our
Genealogical Hints Hidden Within Your Research.
It took me several months of reading
and rereading correspondences to realize hidden within the correspondences
were clues that assisted me in locating additional information. Now, I
simply have a highlighter handy before I even begin reading any
correspondences. As I read, I highlight information that seemed pertinent to
the responder, whether or not I feel it is pertinent to my research. Sooner
or later, the clues you have highlighted will lead you on additional fact
As an example, I had written a distinct form letter better known as an Effective Correspondence
(See:Genealogy Correspondence: The Writing Rite Done Right)
requesting information from persons within a specific
geographical area that had the surname I was researching. One of the
correspondences explained that the name I was seeking was pronounced
differently than it was spelled. I ignored this small piece of information
for more than one year, researching until I would reach dead end after dead
end. Upon rereading the correspondence, I noted the "pronounced
I looked up the respondent's telephone
number and made a call, requesting a live meeting. The respondent was more
than happy to honor my request, including my request for a Video Interview.
Once I learned the pronunciation of the surname I was researching,
I was able to locate a great deal of documentation within
New York State
concerning my family.
In our last edition, the
reader was taken to local cemeteries in search of the Nunweiler surname. I
did locate markers that gave names, both surname and given names, as well
as birth and death dates. The dates I found to be exceptionally
important to my research. Now I had the means of locating additional
information. Armed with the new information, I arranged a to meet the local
town historian at the historical society building where old newspapers, town
histories, photos, etc.; were kept. The historian was quick to point out an
index, which listed every name that appeared in every issue of the the local
weekly newspaper. I was extremely disappointed as I looked through the index
only to find that a great many of my ancestors were not listed.
I was allowed to
photocopy the obituaries I had located via the newspaper index, after which I proceeded home with my new
information. I DID NOT research any further on that day. As a reader
interested in genealogy and genealogical research I am sure you have picked
up on two essential "WRONGS" from the picture I just presented;
first, I studied only the index, I did not look through the actual
newspapers except to locate the page the surname was located on. I also did
not read the obituaries (See: Real Clues in Death Events)
that I had located I simply photocopied them.
Again, I would find myself retracing step after step due to research errors
on my part.
Once I began typing the obituaries
into my genealogical program, and adding the additional family information,
I realized that the names of surviving female children were listed as Mrs.
with the husband's given and surname to follow. Nothing unusual there,
except that I also recalled seeing those exact names on tombstones near the
tombstones I had located with the Nunweiler surname. So, yes, I made a
second visit to the local cemetery, which would become the third, fourth,
fifth, sixth, etc;, until I would finally learn the tricks which would save
me time and retracing my steps.
Issues has expanded
so drastically and received so much email that concessions must be made in
order to give these matters my full attention. Therefore, this page will now
be updated on a bi-weekly basis rather than a weekly basis. Bookmark this
page so that you can check in on 5/26/2002 to learn more about my next step.