How United States Voter Records Can Help You Build a Family Tree
During this election season, you are probably thinking more about who you are voting for rather than the information you provide on your voter registration form. But if you take a closer look at the details these forms collect, you will soon realize that voter records hold a treasure trove of data that can be helpful in building a family tree.
And just as many of us have the privilege to vote in America, as did some of the ancestors who came before us. While United States voter records are oft overlooked in the genealogy research process, they may lead you to an unknown ancestor, clues that provide you with more direction when you run into a brick wall, and a slew of other genealogical discoveries.
As you’re researching your family history, you will undoubtedly run into some genealogy brick walls and other roadblocks that could halt your progress. Seasoned genealogists and family historians know that direct evidence records such as birth certificates and marriage licenses can only take you so far in your genealogical journey; and pieces of indirect evidence may be the only option to fill in the branches of a family tree. So, how do you piece together all of these ancestral tidbits in order for them to make sense? And, most importantly, how can you know for sure if your findings are accurate?
This is where the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) comes in to save your research — and sanity. The GPS can help you navigate through those little pieces of indirect evidence that may otherwise cause you to throw in the towel on your research.
The Most Fascinating Family Finds for September 2015
At the start of the summer, we announced our 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds blogging challenge in hopes that we could give you a helpful nudge to stay on track with your family history research and blogging goals. We’re happy to see so many of you stepping up to the plate by researching your family history and documenting your findings along the way.
And just as you did in June, July, and August, some of you emailed us links to your fascinating family discoveries for September. Here are just a few of the highlights!
Note: You can enter the challenge at any time! Click here for Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds blogging challenge rules, and learn how to easily submit your own entries for future recaps!
Research Mistakes and Remedies to Help You Figure Out Ancestors’ Jobs
Photo credit: By Pierce, C.C. (Charles C.), 1861-1946 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Family historians should always be thinking of out-of-the-box ways to trace the steps of their ancestors, especially when they hit brick walls. But what if you’ve finally found a handful of your once-elusive ancestors, yet still can’t seem to figure out their occupations? Not only can this leave gaps in your family’s story, but it can also be rather frustrating when you wish to create a more robust and comprehensive family history.
Researching your family’s history has become increasingly easier thanks to the power of the internet. Whether you’ve opted to search online census records, library collections, or Flickr for old family photos, you’ve likely found some ancestors along the way. But what if you continue to painstakingly search online for an ancestor, and are repeatedly unsuccessful? The most frustrating part is when you know that this person exists, so you’re left wondering, “Why can’t I find anything about him?”
When you’re unsuccessful at conducting an online search for an ancestor, it can be due to a number of reasons. The good news is that by simply changing the way you search for your ancestors can save you even more frustration and discouragement when you hit those genealogy brick walls.
Hitting a brick wall in your genealogical research can be one of the most frustrating feelings! But when this happens (and it’s inevitable!) it doesn’t have to mean a complete dead end. If you feel like you just can’t find more information, or have exhausted every available resource, you might not be thinking broadly enough.