While today’s tip might not be every one’s cup of tea, it is the system I use and have had significant success with in my genealogy efforts. I have as a goal to spend 50% of my time on typical genealogy resources and websites and 50% of my time on genealogy back alleys and side streets.
This isn’t to say that I waste half my time. On the contrary, I spend it looking for leads, information, and background that will help me when I am on the genealogy mainline resources like MyHeritage, Archives, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Fold3, etc.
I have made some significant discoveries in my family history, especially when I have been stuck when researching on these alternative routes. Actually the more I think about it, I actually believe when I have been REALLY stuck, it has been these alternative resources that have provided me with some of my most important breakthroughs.
Just recently, when I was deep into some research on the basic early immigrant community in Cleveland that I stumbled across Bohemian-American author Hugo Chotek. I noted that one author noted that little was known about his life. For fun and a break, I took at look at Mr. Choteck. First thing I noted that caught my attention was that he had spent some years in Ohio. Then I noted that not only did he pen works of fiction, but he also was a newspaperman and wrote personal biographies and Bohemian immigrant history. By this point the bells were going off so loudly in my head that I was all over Mr. C!
It wasn’t long and I was up to my chin in Chotek and loving it. That was when I found a single sentence that said he had spent a year while in Cleveland interviewing the earliest Czech immigrants he could find and had written about it. I was off to the races to find out where he had written this in the hopes it was published.
YEP! It was and after some serious schmoozing, I got a librarian to scan that 1895 document and email it to me.
There on the second to last page ….. a full page interview with my direct ancestor! What gold!
This is just one of example of using various resources to further my genealogical goals.
So while half time might not be right for you, I suggest you spend at least some time off the genealogical highway and W-A-Y back on the side roads and back alleys of history!
More will come as well as some specific examples!
Onward To Our Past,