Thursday, July 24, 2014

Filling in the blanks in your family tree

The number one question at the youth family history night I attended was this: 

"How do I look for this person?"

This is a great question! And the answer is easy.

Search for records about the child of the person you're looking for. So if I wanted to fill in the Add Husband person in the above picture I would search for John Little. All I know about him is that he was born about 1820 in Ireland, was married to Mary McKeever, and had a child named John Little who was born in Ontario. 

Here are some of the types of records I would hope to find to help me identify his parents:

  • A marriage record for John Little and Mary McKeever that lists their parents. I would expect this record to be from Ireland or maybe Canada.
  • A death record for John Little that lists his parents.This record would probably be from Ontario because his son was born in Ontario and he likely stayed in the same place after having his children.
  • A census record with John Little as the head of the family that has someone listed as father, mother, sister, or brother of the head of the family.This could be from Ireland or Canada. Even if I could find a sibling or a cousin for John Little I would be closer to finding his parents.
  • An immigration record for John Little and Mary McKeever that lists where they lived in Ireland. Searching for his parents would be much easier if I didn't have to search a whole country. A city or a county would really help me.
Birth records for John Little are probably not going to help me much because there are lots of John Littles born in Ireland and I won't be able to tell which one is about my John Little. 

Although I would be hoping and praying for a record like the ones I have listed above, I would really just try to find out as much about John Little and his family that I could and hope it leads me somewhere. I hope it leads you somewhere!

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