Tips and Tricks for Research Requests

We want you to be successful in your search

Here are some tips to help you find what you’re looking for or what you want us to look for.

Photo by Bryan Main
  • Beware of spelling changes in both first and last names.
  • Learn the common abbreviations and language used in genealogy
    • Birth/Born → b.
    • Death/Died → d.
    • Married → m.
    • Baptism → bpt. or ba.
    • Birthplace → bpl.
    • Buried → bu. or bur.
    • Clerk→ clk.
    • Discharged → dis.
    • Mother → m.
    • Father → f.
    • Honorably Discharged → hon. dis.
    • Obituary → ob. or obit.
  • Know that boundary lines between counties and states have changed as well as some place names.
  • Do not rely solely on genealogy websites as typically anyone can input information whether it is true or false.
  • Know the difference between family lore and fact.
  • Do not store all of your information in one place, have a backup to a backup!
  • Always use birth names rather than nicknames. If you did not know a persons birth name, try to speak to someone who will remember, if possible.
  • Learn how to read and utilize the information on a census.
  • Know that address numbers change.
  • Be aware that it is unlikely that the witnesses of a wedding are the parents or even family members.
  • Attempt to locate a Family Bible, the information written on the inside could be incredibly helpful.
  • Do not take newspapers as completely factual, journalists and reporters are human!
  • Even though it is literally etched in stone, tombstones are not always accurate.
  • Last but not least, START NOW! The sooner you begin, the more information you will have. As each family member passes away, stories go with them.