Monthly archives: September, 2012

Do You Hear It Yourself?

Sometimes “seeing” a clue is not about seeing at all. Do you ever read a document or record “out loud?” There are times when just saying something or hearing yourself say something makes a clue or piece of information “click.”

Talking to yourself a little bit never hurts and it may cause you to realize things that were not so clear when you simply read them silently.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,”, 14 Sep 2012.

Turn the Page

When a document is located on a relative, look at the pages before and after the document for additional references to your relative. Deeds sometimes get recorded in “batches,” when it is realized that they were forgotten. Children sometimes get baptized in groups when a minister finally arrives or someone decides it is time.

And occasionally there is a supplemental death certificate when a correction needs to be made.

Indexes will take you to a direct, exact page. It’s up to you to turn a few pages before and after that page to see if there’s an additional find.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,”, 3 Sep 2012.

You Can’t Always Call the Cemetery

Those who have never researched rural ancestors are sometimes in for a treat when they try and locate someone who has a map of the cemetery or a listing of who owns which plots, etc.

For some rural cemeteries, particularly ones that are no longer used, no such list exists. Township or other local officials may oversee the cemetery, maybe. Or no one at all may look after the cemetery and the records, if there ever were any, may be long gone.

And rural cemeteries rarely have phone numbers you can call to get information. Local historical or genealogical societies and libraries may have information or they may not. Local funeral homes may know who to contact as well. And local government officials, even if they are not responsible for the cemetery’s upkeep, may be aware of someone who knows about who is in the cemetery.

Adjacent landowners may know who knows something about the cemetery, but get permission before walking on someone’s property.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,”, 23 Sep 2012.

No Method to the Madness

In our quest to find “proof” and “reasons” behind all those things our ancestors did (or did not do), remember that while there often are reasons why people move to new location or choose a specific name for a child, there are often times where those things are done completely on a whim.

Once in a while decisions are made–for no reason at all.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,”, 28 Sep 2012.

A Date is a Date is a Date

Some documents have several dates associated with them. Make certain that you clearly indicate what each date is.

A deed may have a date of signing, a date of acknowledgement, and a date of recording.

A will may have a date of signing and a date that it was proven in court.

There is the official census date and the date on which the actual census was taken.

Record the dates as specifically as you can. This can reduce confusion.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,”, 7 Oct 2012.