Og would like to call your attention to a new series that we’ve recently added to our lineup, Trails Back, Tracing Ancestors in Slavery Through Census, Probate & Land. In this new three-part series, Beth Wilson, a highly skilled teaching genealogist with a Masters degree in Library Science from UCLA, takes us through some steps that will help makes the search for your ancestors easier.
The first step is to start with what you know right now. Og knows that you’re thinking, “But I’m just so tempted to try to jump back a few generations – can’t I start by looking at really old records and hope that I get lucky?!” Og hears you, and has faced the same temptation many times, but we’ve got to rally here and rely on the sage advice of Ms. Wilson, who advises us that this strategy is absolutely wrong. Her reasoning really stands up, too: as you move back in time in your search for direct and collateral lines, the information you collect as primary and secondary sources usually becomes more encompassing and accurate. Another tip? Be prepared to accept oral history, but don’t rely on it exclusively. Ask who said something, when they said it, and how they knew it. One last tip? OK, you forced it out of Og. Establish what records exist pertaining to what you’re researching, and then seek out ALL of them. Don’t be satisfied with one record when there may be many!
For much more great advice, Og encourages you to enjoy this lecture from the 2006 AAHGS Conference!
Og from Roots Television