As you probably know, www.familysearch.org is a fantastic resource for genealogy research but I’ve been reading about several new strategies to make this site even more helpful so I thought I would share a few here.
First, if you haven’t registered yet, go ahead and create your own account. It doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need an account to use the site, but having one may allow access to some documents because of agreements with other sites.
Now, if you’re having trouble finding an individual and know a place they lived, search by “location”. On the homepage, click on search then look for the map and click on the country – USA for instance. I am looking for John B. Hawkins who was born in Virginia and died in Indiana so I’m going to start in Indiana. Right away you see they have 75 collections – wow!
I usually try searching by name first, but another way to really narrow your results is to scroll down and pick a specific database and then choose “browse through…”. Many of these records aren’t indexed yet but the one I chose, ” Indiana Births and Christenings 1773-1933″ has been so I search by name and birth date. Since my ancestor was born in 1787, there might not be many official records available but I’m hoping there is a listing of a baby born with John as the father.
My search results bring back one man named J. B. Hawkins as the father of a son born in the 1880s so I know this isn’t my man but it may give me more hints to follow. It is so helpful that Family Search has provided these records even though they may not be indexed and perfectly presented with a bow on top! It will pay for you to look at them to see what turns up. I’ve found estate records, letters of administration, probate records and more by taking the time to search through these pages. I hope you have the same luck!