Are you stumped because you cannot figure out yourancestor’s name?
There can be several reasons forthis, including:
- Someone had poor handwriting, and you cannotread the name.
- Only the first two initials were recorded, andyou have no idea what they stand for.
- You only knew your ancestor’s nickname, youwould not recognize his name even if you saw it.
Perhaps some of these suggestions will provide clues to helpyou:
- Ask family members to check all the records theyhave that may mention your ancestor (journals, personal histories, legaldocuments).
- If you find a name that is abbreviated orillegible on a census, look for an earlier record of the same type. Maybe you will luck out and discover the fullname was recorded.
- Try city directories, church records, orarchived school records.
- Look for every newspaper obituary where yourancestor may have been named.
- Once you have exhausted one record type, tryother records. For example, birth,marriage, and death records give additional opportunities for the same personto be recorded.
- Search the records for every child and siblingto see if your ancestor’s name appears again on their records. Check the records that name parents andspouses.
- Find out if any other family members were giventhe same name or if naming patterns can provide clues.
- Submit a request for research to Genealogists.com. They have created one of the largest networks of professional genealogists in the world.
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by Robin Foster © 2014, Genealogists.com. All rights reserved