Trying to unearth [pardon the pun!] your ancestors can pose a lot of questions. Where to look being the main one,
I think most everyone knows the usual places, i.e. county records, birth, marriage and death records, the International Genealogical Index [Mormon church recoreds], local county Family History Societies etc.
There are quite a number of good forums to use. Recently I joined the Family Tree Forum – this is very good. There are many different sections to this. You can just join to have a general chat with others if you want, but there are sections for people’s requests for information.
It’s quite useful to look down these requests, sometimes you do come across people researching your names.
Plus places like Rootsweb – there is a chatroom for Rootsweb where general chat goes on but you can also ask questions in the same place. This is a good idea because people are there online and if anyone sees your questions and has some information they will tell you there and then.
I med a lady in the Rootsweb chatroom some time ago who was doing family history research for her friend who turned out to be on my tree, so I made two new contacts through that, my relative and her friend.
I have been quite lucky lately, I have seen a number of requests for information by others and I have been able to help as they were researching family relatives on my tree. At the moment I seem to be steaming ahead at a rate of knots !!
I think the main reason I am forging ahead is that I do not concentrate on only one line at any one time. I have surname search going on for just about any line on my tree that crops up. I don’t have every single name at my finger tips, but strangely when you think of your tree some names leap out at you so you recognise them easily when someone else asks for information about them.
I have discovered that sometimes when you are really stuck with all the normal places to look, simply put into the Google search box the name of the person, their date of birth if known, or something generic i.e. the 1600s or 1700s and where they came from, actual place or county. All sorts of sites will come up and sometimes you are lucky and can glean bits of information from some of them.
Sometimes people’s actual family tree information comes up and if your name is mentioned as being part of it, you could strike lucky.
Occasionally you have to re-word your request because what you want doesn’t come up. For instance, I occasionally do a little research for a friend whose maiden name was Molyneux from West Bromwich, UK. I have to be careful how I ask for ‘Molyneux’ information because if you mention the name plus West Bromwich all you get is football information, Molyneux being the name of the football stadium.
Just move words around and re-request until you get something coming up that will give you what you want [or at least you hope it will].
Regarding the I.G.I. don’t think because you have looked there once and there wasn’t any information you wanted that there never will be. They are adding new material to their database all the time so keep trying, you might just strike lucky.