A Few Suggestions to Help Find Difficult AncestorsIf you are tracing a difficult lineage (which most people are), then you must exhaust all of the records. I mean all possible records of that era! Begin by reading every will and estate in the county where your ancestor resided, as well as the Minutes of the Court, Inferior Court Records, deeds and tax digests. When you visit a cemetery, do you write down all of the inscriptions? That work can be narrowed down by locating the old section and entering the names of friends and neighbors. When you are finished, you should have a better understanding of the ancestor and his extended family. Next, learn the detailed history of the times from your research. Do this by following the trail of the officers who led your ancestors into battle, and find the muster rolls and pensions, noting who presented affidavits because those persons were friends of your ancestor and probably appeared on earlier and later records as well. This information helps to confirm that you have the correct John Smith, so to speak. Note the name of the officers who signed the land grant, and learn about their battles (because that is where your ancestor was also). When you are finished, you should be able to tell the story of the exciting career of your ancestor and the importance of each battle.
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