All posts by Julia, Librarian

Power-Up SIG Notes: Useful Research vs Chasing Squirrels

How do you decide which people to research and which to ignore?  Do you follow parents of people who married into your family?  How about the siblings of your direct ancestors?  Do you try to follow all the children down to the present?

During our discussion, we established some general questions to ask ourselves to help decide whether to follow a line or not:

What is the purpose of our project?  And what is our goal for today?

  • Are we trying to join a lineage society?  If so, following siblings and others is probably a distraction.
  • Are we planning to write a book about the descendants of a particular couple?  How many generations down?  If someone falls in that set, follow them!
  • It might help to establish a file folder or Word document where you can jot down the interesting clues you find and decide not to pursue.  It will make it easier to move on if you know you can come back and pick it up later.

Have we hit a brick wall?  Perhaps we should be researching our subject’s FAN club.  Elizabeth Shown Mills named this research technique — Friends, Associates, Neighbors — others have called it cluster research.  The general idea is that very few people live in a vacuum, and other individuals in their lives may have left records you can use.  For example, if your ancestor was from Virginia, but you don’t know where in Virginia, perhaps he moved with a group of folks who are now his neighbors.  Perhaps if you researched some of them, you can find a clue about where they all moved from.  Or, if you’re trying to find the maiden name of a woman, perhaps you should look at the people who witnessed wills, administered probates, and bought and sold land with, to see if any of those people might be her parents or siblings.

Are we using DNA?  Matching up with cousins is much easier if we have a reasonably complete tree for the most recent generations, which allows us to recognize married names for our second cousins.  It also increases the chances that we’ll recognize situations where we link up with a cousin in more than one way.

New Books for January 2018

Lots of yearbooks this month, plus some WWI resources…

Call Number Date Author Title
G-B 157 1969 Hatch, Alden The Byrds of Virginia
R-210 157 1977 Tolstead, Laura Kansas Rocks and Minerals
R-210 BU 24 1995 Circle High School True Blue
R-210 CQ 03 V 17-18 1999 Chautauqua County KS Gen Soc Gen-Tree
R-210 MN 19 1991 Ramona Rural High School Ramona Rural High School Class of 1941 50th Anniversary
R-210 RH 04 2014 Penka, Bradley R. Post Rock Country
R-210 RL 01 1991 Kansas State University Royal Purple
R-210 RL 01 1997 Kansas State University Royal Purple
R-210 SG 006 1946 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 006 1960 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 006 1972 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 006 1975 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 006 1979 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 006 1985 1926 Wichita State University Parnassus
R-210 SG 008 1974 Friends University The Talisman
R-210 SG 008 1975 Friends University The Talisman
R-210 SG 210 1963 Wichita Southeast High School Hoofbeats
R-210 SG 210 1964 Wichita Southeast High School Hoofbeats
R-210 SG 211 2016 Wondra, Keith Old Cowtown Museum
R-210 SG 212 1994 Goddard High School Lionian
R-210 SG 212 1995 Goddard High School Lionian
R-210 SG 212 1996 Goddard High School Lionian
R-210 SG 212 1997 Goddard High School Lionian
R-210 SG 213 1991 Kapaun Mt Carmel High School Crusader
R-670 262 2014 Lang, Sean First World War for Dummies
Online – Link in Catalog 2017 Hirrel, Leo P. Supporting the Doughboys: US Army logistics and personnel during World War I
Online – Link in Catalog 1974 Hewitt, Linda J. Women Marines In World War I