What’s Scarier Than a Clown? It’s Right in Front of Your Nose!

genealogy facts

I received an email last week from newsletter reader, Lynn. In it, she said:

I posted a copy of an obituary to one of my Ancestry trees. Another
researcher linked it to that person is his tree. Then wrote to me asking
who were the children of the deceased person … they were all, of course,
listed in the obituary.

I share her frustration and am using it as a good lesson for all of us. Just how much information do you already have – but a) don’t realize? b) haven’t checked? c) haven’t culled for all possible clues?

Think about hitting a brick wall all because you haven’t checked what’s right in front of you. Now that truly is scarier than a clown!

What Genealogy Clues Are You Missing?

It’s easy to get in the “grab-and-go” mode. You find something online, you save it and then move onto the next search. The question is: Do you ever go back to that original grab and really delve into it for clues? For example, let’s take a marriage license. If you’re only looking for the name of the bride and groom and the date of the marriage, what else can you find?

  • the name of the minister – it could be a relative
  • the name of witnesses – they could be relatives
  • is the place of the wedding mentioned? it could be in a family home
  • is there any indication of religion based on the title of the officiant?

What about death certificates (see below)?

  • name of deceased
  • profession
  • spouse
  • place of birth
  • disease
  • length of illness
  • name of father
  • maiden name of mother (this is a juicy find!)
  • attending physician
  • place of burial
  • name of undertaker
  • birthplace of parents
  • name and address of witness (the person providing the information)

I suspect that many of us are sitting on a treasure trove of genealogy information that we haven’t taken the time to thoroughly go through. How about taking 10 or 15 minutes this week to pull out a record you haven’t examined – – just to see what you can find?

And thanks Lynn for the suggestion!

(click on image to see full-size)

genealogy death certifiicate



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Are you making the most of all of the genealogy information you've found? Or are you simply in the grab-n-go mode?

Love to know what you think!