I wanted to take exception with David Goldman's post about researching - there
really is no "end of the road" - but rather (often temporary)stopping points. One
of the talks I give is called "Never Give Up - Strategies for Taking Your Genealogy
Research to the Next Level and Finding the Previously Unfindable." This is based on
over 20 years of research where I have learned new approaches, figured out how to
get the most out of every source through careful and thorough reading, and, most
important, going back and reviewing your old research periodically. You know
more now than you did when you started researching, and may see things that you
missed the first time around, or find new sources that weren't available at the
We are in the midst of an information explosion. Information is available now that
previously wasn't accessible. New sources are being indexed all the time.
FamilySearch has a huge collection of unindexed digitized microfilms. Cast a wide
net. Don't just look at JewishGen or Ancestry or FamilySearch - look at as many
websites as possible - they are indexed differently, even if they have the same
records. Most subscription websites have library editions that you can access for
free at a local public library or at a FamilySearch center. You may have to send
for records (yes, not everything is available online). You may have to hire a
researcher. I have successfully researched families >from towns in Lithuania with
only tax records available, but few vital records or censuses. Check neighboring
towns. Even though your family may have resided in a particular town, they may have
transacted business elsewhere, they may have moved around, or a male relative may
have married someone >from a different town that has the vital records you seek.
Research extended family, not just your direct line. And don't forget sources like
voter lists, newspapers, city directories, local histories, Yad Vashem, funeral
homes and cemeteries, etc., etc.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the idea. I have
made several major discoveries after having thought that I had reached the end of
the road, so research another branch of your family for now. Sometimes it can take
years, but it's worth the wait.
Los Angeles, CA