Going Sideways

Clayburn Hager Death Certificate - Shake Your Family Tree BlogThere are times in my genealogy research that it is helpful to go “sideways.” What does that mean? Simply put, I will look at brothers and sisters of the family member I am researching. I have found valuable information doing this!

For example, my paternal great great grandfather (Clayborne Hager) has many different spellings listed for his first name. In the beginning of my researching I just assumed that the spelling I was told was the correct spelling. However, in researching my paternal great grandfather’s brothers and sisters I realized their family has many different spellings for Clayborne. Once I searched archives and online utilizing the different spellings I came upon an enormous amount of information.

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Connect with family online

Many individuals who do family genealogy know that connecting with family is important. However, some are reluctant to do this. From my own experience I can tell you that I have had the most amazing experiences connecting with family members online. Yes, I have had many emails go without responses, messages apparently ignored, incorrect email addresses returned, and replies similar to “I’m not related” to your family. I’ve had message board inquiries sit for months and years with no response. However, mixed in with those experiences, I have had replies that changed my life!

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