22 May 2014
Another in the series on sessions I attended at the NGS 2014 Family History Conference.
T242 (R) Finding Relatives Like a Private Eye, Lisa Louise Cooke, Syllabus page 219
A key element of doing this is recognizing that “Unless a person is actively making an effort not to be found, they leave a paper trail!”
I could identify with what she called Principle #4: Few People are Free from Bureaucracy. There was someone I was tracking who didn’t want to be found (absconded with church money, abandoned his family, was a bigamist, etc) and it was his desire to receive a pension for national guard service that ultimately unraveled his death (and life) – read more about how I discovered much about this person’s life and death in Looking For A Man Who Didn’t Want to Be Found!
And Tip #8: Check Campaign Contributions was not on my radar at all. I had never heard of Open Secrets and its Donor Lookup service. On this site, you can check contributions back to 1990. This site was fascinating. I had no idea that such information was public. Another site mentioned was CQ Moneyline donor search which goes back to 1980 (only showing donations for each 4 year election cycle).
Based on my own experience, I will say that with people increasingly using cell phones (versus land lines) and being fairly mobile in where they live it seems like it has become harder to track living people than it once was. Whether it’s cousins to share notes with or individuals you would like to ask to participate in a DNA study, finding the living sometimes takes priority over documenting the dead. I now have a few new resources to consider and tactics to employ. Hopefully some of these living individuals will not be as elusive as they once were based on using Lisa Louise Cooke’s suggestions!
The associated syllabus pages provide an overview of the 8 research tactics suggested by Lisa Louise along with many internet references for where you might search.
Editor’s Note: This series is not presented in any particular order.
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com◦
I'm reading: NGS 2014 Family History Conference – Session T242 – Finding Relatives Like a Private Eye