Outside the Box Search Advice

Up Your Game ! Up Your Search! 

Think about it. If you do not have all of the records, then someone does.

If it is not in the family then someone out there could still have it. One of my go to places to search is coming up…you may be surprised but it works.

It may not work today, or tomorrow, but I would check about once a week just to see what comes up.

Google is a Great Search Idea!

And yes Google might pick it up, or it may not. I just took a school online annual book and tried to find a person in it to see it it would be worth sharing it with you.

I found it in one area on the web that was readable and searchable. Yet it would not bring up the person I was looking for.

I had the book in my hands, I knew he was in the book. So why is it not coming up on the search of their book? There could be many reasons. But all of this is to show you that you keep looking, you try different things and different areas.  Sometimes names will show up in Google.

I saw somewhere the other day to try putting a dash between the words you are searching for on Google like: Beaumont -school -1905. This is definitely worth a try, but always change it up. Also drop one of the search words if that didn’t work and try again. Also change up the order you put the words in for the search, it will bring up different items every time!

But But Also Ebay!

If I can find a car load of photos and scrapbooks. Bibles and photo albums, and other documents with my family history as well as many others. So can you!

Go to Ebay and put in your surnames in one at a time. There are all kinds of items from photos to the all kinds of documents. If it will sell in an antique store it may be online for sale on Ebay. You may even be able to find other sites that sell these types of items with the Google search. Believe me it works.

Dig Outside the Box!

I have found photos on Ebay and then connected them in my tree way back in the line. How did I know it was the right person? You dig! I check all kinds of records, anything I can find within the bought item. From the scenery in a photo to every little piece of paperwork.

Sometimes there are places in the background of the photo that tell you the story. The story of where it was taken at. Then I can look it up newspaper articles.

And sometimes I get lucky, really, really lucky. From one little item, or one little hint in the photo. I have found stores, houses, and places from the background in the picture. I found out they actually owned the store, that is why they took a photo in front of the store. Photos are our life, especially back then, when the money was so tight. The photos were important back then!

It may take a lot of searching, and a great deal of time. But it can be so satisfying to find information and to get to really know the person you are looking for.

Save, Save, Save!

Once you have all of these paper copies of these items. Be sure and save them online as well as in paper form. If I make a shadow box with letters and other items in it. I take photos of the after product as well. Document everything you do. So if something was to happen, even though we always hope it does not! You have something left. You still have a part of that memory and the work you put into it.

Back it Up! Save it in More Than One Place!

Working on my shadow box for the letters and some other items.

I made a beautiful shadow box of all the love letters from Germany my dad sent to my mom.  This included photos, letters and envelopes.  He also sent other items like one of his pins from the Army.

I have backups of this information in the cloud.  As much of it as I could backup.  If that was to burn in a house fire because it was on the wall instead of in the safe, then I would still be alright.  You can also duplicate this information in a book, then print it and send to a family member.  Be sure and back everything up. Especially if you are the main person in charge of the tree, and all the information.

Remember! Beef up Your Game, Think Outside the Normal Search Patterns!

Another little TIP… reading through all of the letters my dad sent to my mom is great. I had to figure out the dates though. Sometimes he would date with the month wrote out and the year. Then at other times he would write it like 9/12/54. Humm… Good thing he wrote the day of the week on each letter as well so I could check. I just assumed because he had been doing Sept 1, 1954 that it was in the same order. Nope, he changed it up. So sometimes we have to check on the date to see if everything adds up.

Happy digging, and dig outside the box.