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03 July 2013

The Neighbors of Every Sibling

The "trick" to locating one ancestral sibling was to look at each sibling in every census and "say out loud" the names of the neighbors. That was when we realized that the married sister was "right under our noses" with a rendering of her last name that was difficult to transcribe and impossible to find with creative soundex and wildcard searches.

Sometimes you just have to look at the other names one by one and think "could this sound like" the name for which I'm looking?


  1. I have found several siblings living next door, around the corner or down the block......I usually look at the records on the page prior and following the page I am initially directed to.

  2. I've actually gone thru whole districts. Interesting to find how close relatives, who ended up marrying, lived to each other as well.

  3. I like the idea of saying the names out loud. Gives the brain another opportunity to experience the "ah-ha" moment. :o) Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Sometimes talking to yourself is a good idea ;-)

  4. If it's a fairly small town, I usually look at the entire town.

  5. The same thing works for probate records. I found a whole boatload of information on my family of interest by looking at a sibling's estate inventory. Turns out he had no family and left everything to his siblings and their families. You never know. I'm a true believer of the FAN system.

  6. What do you do when you don't know who the siblings are? There were several families in the nearby area with the same surname, but I don't know who belongs to who. The timing is wrong (the 1840 and1850 censuses) and I really haven't figured out exactly which ones are parents/children and other relatives. Oh well, I will keep trying.

    Linda Waha

  7. Conversely, saying the misspelt name out loud can give clues as to how it was pronounced by the ancestor (who might not have been able to write or spell the name).