This checklist is a starting point for thinking creatively about resources you or your family may have that will help you further your genealogical research. Especially if you're participating in the Genealogy Do-Over (or, like me, a Gen Go-Over), I hope this checklist will spark some ideas.
It's not for BINGO. When I was a beginner, I thought the goal was to check off as many items as possible. Nope. The real goal is to think creatively about detail-rich sources that make sense for our research.
Not all of these sources are available in every family. Not all will have valuable details that can add to our knowledge of ancestors. But you may get lucky! And if the items are already in your family's possession, they're free. Can't beat that price.
Here are only a few examples of using some of the everyday resources on this checklist to advance genealogy research. I wish you luck in your research!
- "Address books" -- within the past week, I used Mom's address book to tear down the brick wall that has long surrounded my paternal grandfather's siblings.
- "Baby books" -- my husband's baby book enabled me to fine-tune death dates of some older relatives and learn more about relationships by seeing who gave what baby gift and when.
- "Diaries" -- my late dad-in-law's diaries are sometimes more accurate in pinpointing birth and death dates than gravestones. His entries also helped me identify elusive cousins.
- "Letters and postcards" -- hubby's family's postcards showed where and when his grandparents and father lived during the early 1900s, and the signatures told me who was in touch with which relatives (and when). Also, letters written to/from my paternal aunt helped me crack the case on my grandfather Isaac's sister.