In her column, Genealogy Today: Affiliates of ancestors sometimes offer clues, in The Columbian (Washington), Connie Lenzen has a good column about something many overlook – the areas where our ancestors originated from. To be specific, the area after our ancestors left – chances are friends and relatives were left behind, and it maybe a good resource that many people overlook. Particularly important is surnames that may have changed slightly.
Excerpt from the article:
There’s a lot of sadness when people move out of the area. Oh, we will be able to send e-mails and greeting cards, but it’s not the same thing as sitting down to a meal together.
It’s times like this when I think about my ancestors who migrated from their family home to a new place. There’s my grandmother, who left Slovenia to go to Spokane to marry a stranger. There are my Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors who went from Lancaster County to Franklin County, Pa. There’s my father, whose parents put the family on a train and left Charlotte, Mich., to move to Portland.
I’m sure the people they left behind had similar sad thoughts.
When our ancestors moved to a new place, they often sent letters back and told their family about the beauties of the new world. They encouraged their kinfolks to come and join them. Some of their kinfolk visited, and some stayed.
Sometimes, the kinfolk had different surnames, and we don’t recognize them when we see them on censuses and deeds and other records.
We need to closely analyze records created around our ancestors and ask ourselves if any of the associates could be kin.