So, this family history quest of yours has got you a bit down, huh?
You’ve spent all those hours tracking down your ancestors for your long-awaited family history book and now you’re running out of gas? All those once-interested relatives that promised to chip in with your research have stopped answering your e-mails and ignore your voicemail messages?
Cheer up, Bucko. Help may be just a few mouse clicks away.
Even if your immediate family has gone into the witness protection program, it’s almost a certainty that someone out there in your extended family shares your passion for collecting and sharing their family history. It may be a branch or two over from yours, but you need to reach out and explore some of those more-distant family lines. Check genealogical wikis like WeRelate.com or find forums that cater to your family surname or a locale that you’re interested in.
I’ve received gravestone photos of great grandparents from a woman whose own research led her to a small Missouri cemetery where, uncertain who might be in her lineage, she took photos of every gravestone. None proved to be her relatives, but she graciously shared what she had.
A classmate in my genealogy class managed to find an ornate ceremonial marriage certificate of her grandparents by connecting with non-relatives in two other states who had no idea how it came to be found in their family’s possessions. My classmate’s advice: Cast a wide net. You never know where information will come from.
Good advice, I’d say.