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Today’s Tip:  See how it plays in Peoria.  Run it by the Peanut Gallery!

When you are working on a real challenging piece of research, be sure to stop part way through and review the theory you are pursuing, with names, place names, dates, etc. with any elders in the family.  It can jog memories, but good!

A case on point is that I had spoken with a family member about a distant relative when I started a search.  She gave me ‘all she knew’ about this person and their branch of the family, which was quite a bit and a great start.

Off I went … and the chase began.

As I worked through the possibilities (and cursed, again and again, at the missing 1890 US Census) I began to formulate a theory of who was who and how they might all relate.

I decided to talk through this theory with the family member again.  This time … it was totally different with her!  As I began talking and giving my theory surnames, given names, and especially place names, lots and lots of significant new information came forth for me!

It seems that once I started reciting my information, the names and places caused different memory areas to click, whir, and different synapses to connect … and out came new ideas, suggestions, memories and stories.  They all really helped!  This ‘check’ helped me hone my search and focus better.

So …. remember as you formulate your theory and move through your chase …. run that theory by the family elders.  

Howdy Doody was right to have a Peanut Gallery and more than politicians care about Peoria!

You may get some really nice surprises!

Onward To Our Past,
Scott

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