Exploring genealogy resources and creative search techniques
This blog is all about some of the most effective search sites and search techniques that I have used to find relatives whose recorded names kept changing as they moved to the United States. I will also tell you how to find out the towns they came from in Europe and discuss ways to trace where and how they lived before they came to the United Stats.
My relatives changed their names, professions, residences and reported different birth dates and birth places to different people. They married and had children. Their siblings and parents sometimes immigrated to the United States. They told their children very little about where they came from and why they left. They left their children some immigration documents and photographs.
My grandparents came to the United States from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s and initially lived in New York City. Some of the search techniques are specific to my family origins.
However, most of these tools and ideas are universal will apply to most family history searches.
Why “Genealogy Adventure”?
Because it is a challenging search for knowledge.
As my family changed their names, birth dates and history, I found that the search for information reminded me of an adventure quest and brought to mind the memorable line from one of the very first text based computer games, Adventure.
“You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike”.
In Adventure the goal is to get out of the maze, explore the great underground kingdom and to find the treasures. The journey requires some logic and a lot of imagination. Logic alone does not work since the clues seemed deliberately incomplete and misleading. The goals of the Genealogy Adventure are pure gold and real knowledge.
My grandparents arrived in New York City from Eastern Europe between 1900 to 1910. They had large families and told their children very little about where they had come from, how they got here or why they left the Empire of Russia to migrate to the United States.
Growing up it never occurred to the children of my generation to ask these questions. It is too late now. The people who knew the answers are no longer alive. But, many of the genealogical records still exist and we can find some of them.
Researching the genealogical databases to find out who your family is and was seems a lot like the journey through Adventure. A logical approach to finding the information sometimes works, but the clues seem deliberately misleading and imaginative searching is often needed to get to the answers.