I attempted to find records for a few of my ancestors. When performing a search of an online collection, it helps to keep the search broad and then narrow it to find valuable information. The is also a good time to introduce the concept of a research log or notebook. By documenting what collections you have searched and for what individuals you can avoid duplicating your work months or years later. It can also help to illuminate areas you might have overlooked or want to review more closely.
For example according to your current research you believe that your ancestor’s name is James L. Curtis, date of birth (dob) Kentucky, 1927. If you limit your search to those parameters, the search results might miss the person you are searching altogether for or return no results at all. Utilize the option of using a range of years (if available) , ie. + or – 5 years, within the search function. It normally is better to omit middle names or initials. Middle names or initials, may or may not be mentioned in the record.
Every collection you search will not necessarily contain information on one of your ancestors. It’s good to remember that records are not always accurate, nor do they all contain the same information. The information is only as accurate as the person who provided the information. The person could be wrong, misinformed or trying mislead the person or organization collecting the information. That’s why it’s important to use more than one source to verify information. I often say that, “genealogical research is often about finding a preponderance of evidence, rather than a direct smoking gun with fingerprints and gunpowder residue.” (I watch a lot of crime shows. LOL) Just because a piece of information conflicts with what you’ve previously learned, doesn’t mean it’s false. It might be good idea to file it under “further research needed”.
Shortened Transcript of Record that I was able to find on one of my ancestors.
Marion, Indiana, USA
Apr 9 1943
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
No Branch Assignment
Term of enlistment:
Enlistment For The Duration of The War or Other Emergency, Plus Six Months, Subject To The Discretion of The President or Otherwise According To Law
Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Race and citizenship:
2 Years of High School
Semiskilled Chauffeurs and Drivers, Bus, Taxi, Truck, and Tractor
I was told previously that he served in the military, however I didn’t know what branch or when he enlisted. This gave me quite a bit of additional information. Excited!!! His birth certificate states he was born in Louisiana. However I know he lived in Texas for part of his childhood. The name, birthdate, residence and enlistment information all match. This tidbit will encourage me to request his full military records from The National Personnel Records Center. Previously, I’ve requested and received my father’s and my maternal grandfather military records.
Happy Hunting! I hope this blog has inspired you to do some research or perhaps preserve some stories from a veteran in your family.
As the holiday fast approaches many people are planning cookouts, family gatherings and enjoying time off. For a lot of people part of the holiday tradition includes visiting cemeteries and placing flowers on the grave stones of loved ones.
This is one of my families traditions. Since, I was a child, I’ve visited the cemetery with my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother to honor our loved ones. As we walked among the graves my relatives would describe ancestors who passed away many years before I was born. This helped me to get to know my ancestors beyond names and dates and black & white photographs.
Now that I am older, I realize how precious that tradition was and is. My beloved Granny (Anna Mae) used to walk the graves with us. She is no longer with us and I visit her grave now which is beside my Grandpa. My Daughter and Son walk with me and pay honor to our ancestors. I hope this is a tradition that they will maintain and pass on to their children.
This is a great time to document the location of headstones, grave and row and what cemetery they are located in. It also helps to take pictures of the headstones in relation to landmarks (fences, trees).
I just picked up my latest gadget, a portable scanner, The Flip-Pal . I used it for the first time at a Kentucky Group (genealogy) meeting. I helped a friend scan some awesome old pictures. It was easy to use and transport. If you are interested in picking one up follow the link below.
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a battery powered, color flatbed scanner for photos and documents. It conveniently scans photos in place without removing them from an album or frame using patented flip-and-scan technology. When safeguarding your memories really matters, Flip-Pal is the best scanning solution.
Paid Affiliate (This promo helps to support the blog.)
Weddings encompass many things, a legal contract, a spiritual contract, a party, a joining of 2 people and a joining of 2 families.
I recently attended the wedding of one of my nieces in California. There wasn’t much time to plan, however I was blessed to be be able to attend. My brother, sister-in-law and niece were very happy to see me and my youngest sister.
It’s always great for people to be happy when you arrive and sad when you leave. (Make sure you don’t outstay your welcome. :0) )
I have attended many weddings during my lifetime. I have taken in recent years to pray fervently for the couple and try to remember their wedding anniversary with a card, call or text. It’s important to celebrate the wedding but even more important to celebrate the MARRIAGE and the COUPLE.
Weddings are a wonderful time to build on established relationships while forming new ones (with the new in-laws). My new nephew is a very kind and loving person and I think he and my niece will be very happy together.
I hope that my visit strengthened the bond with my brother and his family while building a new bond with my newest nephew.
In the coming weeks I will update the family tree with the wedding date and and my new nephew. Why don’t you take this opportunity to find out more about a marriage of one of your ancestors. Share this with the rest of your family!