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17 February 2012

Find Their Shoes and Put Them On

If you have "lost" your ancestor at a certain point in time, put yourself in their shoes and see if it generates any ideas or leads. Think about:

  • their age when you've "lost" them.
  • what "stage" were they at in their life-newly married, lots of children, "empty nester," etc.?
  • what economic advantages did they have?
  • what economic limitations did they have?
  • who were they responsible for?
  • how "easy" was it to just "pick up and move?"
  • could "family problems" have impacted their decisions?
  • did they move or associate with members of their extended family--either relatives by blood or marriage?
And so on. No one operates in a vacuum. 


  1. What a wonderful list to ponder, I had several female ancestors that picked up and moved west out of 1700 people I've reserched the only one to make a land claim and do the improvements and was granted the claim was a lady.

  2. Excellent ideas! Saving to Evernote as a reference.