See the Big Picture

Posted on Apr 12, 2012

Look at the big picture.  It’s important not to get so focused on finding a single individual or piece of information that we don’t look at extended family, neighbors and the migration patterns of the entire community.  Often the missing person (or piece) will pop up in someone else’s family in a completely different geographic location.  One respondent wrote:  “I was shocked recently to hear of someone who researches only their male lines.  By passing up the wives and their families, this person has boxed himself in a corner and will miss a lot of critical information and connections within his family.  My genealogical epiphany took place when I realized that my husband’s family, which has lived entirely in one small Kentucky county for the last 200 years, is related to family lines that migrated all over the map.  Finding some of those distant cousins uncovered a letter that took one of my husband’s lines back one more generation.”


Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line.  There are many  instances where researchers come to a dead end on an individual and through researching related people (siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) they are led back to the individual of interest.  Think outside the box. If you are stuck, find unusual ideas and places to look for information.

Labels: genlessons