One Reader's Research Methods
15 July 2022
Every so often, one of you, Dear Readers ,shares his or her research methods with us and we like to pass them on to the rest of you. So much of genealogical discovery is serendipitous, that, truly, one never can know what might help to open a door hitherto locked. Today, we share with you the methods of Monsieur W.:
"I was born in Liverpool, England and always wanted to know who my ancestors were as a child but growing up in the 1950s and up to 2000 it was quite difficult as there was no internet and if one was lucky may have had a family tree passed down by elders, but unlikely.
Ancestral research started for me over 10 years ago with one name in a very small amount of names in our Ancestry.com site by my sister in law so I decided I would focus on the name and see where it led me, the name was BETHANCOURT and as it sounded French it sounded like a good place to start. I went online into google search engine and started to research the name and as I had sent off for the marriage certificate it gave me the name of my 2nd Great Grandfather and his place of birth etc, so again I went into google search engine and it lead me back to his parents who lived on Gran Canaria Island, Spain. I then found there were others online also researching the same family line as me so I emailed them and many responded.
One of the people who responded turned out to be a genealogist who lived on Gran Canaria and he assisted me in taking my Bethancourt line further back and also all the related families via marriage etc, this person turned out to be my 14th generational cousin on numerous lines and he was good enough to guide me. I then came across two other people who were genealogists on Gran Canaria, who also turned out to be my cousins and they too assisted me. We have written an article about my Bethancourt ancestor also. Many of my Canary Island Ancestors headed to Louisiana.
How did I discover my French ancestry? My 3rd Great Grandfather who was in Louisiana married a French lady whose family name was REMONDET who arrived from Crugey, Cote d'or, Bourgogne, France. So I now started to explore my French ancestry and it led me to Alsace & Lorraine and several other areas of France.
How did I find all this information? A lot of reading and TIME
I started by focusing on one line at a time to develop it as far as possible
I then used Google search engine and looked for names on there and looked for others who were researching the same names and contacted them. We shared information together
I looked for articles online, books where my ancestors' names were mentioned and if in French or Spanish I copied and pasted the text and then used a translation tool.
I found a French site which listed all towns in France and found the ones where my ancestors lived and looked for their names and marriages etc.
I have been able to find living descendants of my ancestors all over the world and correspond with several of them, some in France and Spain
So by starting with just one name that caught my eye has led me to build an extensive tree with numerous family connections globally and i'm still building my tree every day.
All I can suggest to you is this, Ask family if they have information , names, dates , photos, birth certificates etc etc first. You need a starting point and this is the basis of building your tree. Then you need to spend time researching, never give up as the information is out there you just need to find it. The internet has made it so much easier to find ancestors, so use it.
I've contributed to a book about my fathers side of our family and co-written an article about my 4th Great Grandfather on my mothers side which has been published.
I hope this may inspire at least one person to develop their tree and find their ancestors
Many thanks, Monsieur W.!
©2022 Anne Morddel