What do you do when there are no names or dates to work with?
Well quite simply, there has to be something or else you are in deep trouble! Having said that there are many times when the names are and dates are unclear, indefinite or conflicting. I have found a few options that work with regularity, at least for me they do! In no particular sequence, they include:
- Census records. Look to see if you can find a cluster of family members that resemble those you seek. In one of my best examples, I found a Peter & Julie Deyo family. I was seeking a Joseph and Julia Deo family, at the time. When I compared the family member names with two other Census records, one from 1851 in Canada and one from 1870 in the US there was an uncanny similarity. So I went with it! You can find this example hidden away on our Deyo Genealogy page.
- Follow the kids. If you have some children from one generation but are missing a desired sibling, follow those children that you do have. Often I find that these relations lead me to the person I seek.
- Read the documents! I can not tell you how many times I seem to be the first person to struggle my way through a source document. Source documents can provide a wealth of new insight and information. I have found countless new generations of the family simply by reading a birth or wedding record to find the parents name(s).
There are other tricks as well. As I further gather and formulate my thoughts, I’ll post them here.