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Genealogy Knots for Beginners

Calling Names of Other Peopleís Ancestors in Vain

You can easily get hooked on calling the names of other peoplesí ancestors. Thatís a genealogical no-no. Solicit advice from AfriGeneas list members before spending too much money. Read on to figure out why. These cautionary tales are for both beginners and advanced researchers. The bottom line in this kind of research is that youíre looking for surname indexes to records that contain names of people that you can identity, not names alone. If your ancestor was named James Peters, and he lived in Hinds County, Mississippi around 1910, so did many other James Peters. Determining which one is your ancestor will be difficult if you have nothing but a name.

The Internet Surname List Addiction

Question: Iíve identified all the Moores in every data bank that exists on the Internet. What do I do with these names now?

Answer: Take them and file them in your round file. Better yet, write each name on a tiny slip of paper, turn the lottery wheel, and then dump them on the floor and try to connect them by kinship. Impossible, right! At the beginning stage, there is no need to clutter your computer desktop or your three ring binder with names of folks who probably share only your surname and no blood lines.

The CD Rom Mis-Purchase

Question: I ordered a CD Rom, but I canít find my ancestors.

Answer: Avoid being addicted to surname searches without a guiding purpose or question. You are at the beginning, and these items are for researchers who are well on the way and who have learned how to use them (you will get there quickly enough if your passion for knowing more about your folks leads you there). As a substitute, post a look-up query like the one below:

E-Mail Subject: Illinois Death Index Look-up Needed

Query: Can someone search the Illinois Death Index for Albert Smith who died in Chicago, Illinois around 1914. I need to verify date of death before ordering a death certificate.


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