In my last post entitled Trying Out a New Research Technique: Finding Ancestors in the Early 1800s I described a research technique I heard about in a workshop at Jamboree. I developed a research question and listed all the possible sources where I could look for the answer. I was pleased at how many suggestions I was given from readers, many of which I have used in the past, that I could add to my list of possible sources of information.
I tried searching in serval sources and found a lot of great information on my maternal 3x great-grandmother Amanda Johnson Browning’s grandparents, her marriage to William Browning, etc. Great information for other stories but what about
my research question: When and where was Amanda Johnson born?
I was familiar with this author’s name and his work is listed on the website Tri-Counties Genealogy and History Site-Bradford and Tioga County (PA) and Chemung (NY). I have found his information to be very useful in the past. At the time I thought this was the same book on my list but it was another book by another author. (I used my original spreadsheet to research from and realized this book was on my spreadhseet but I somehow left it off when transferring the information to my blog post-oops.)
Here is what I found:
Orwell township is in Bradford County, PA and I knew Amanda had married William Browning. SUCCESS! My research question is answered. Happy dance time!
Some thoughts on this research technique I had not used before:
- I have to admit that it was very difficult to not just start hitting SEARCH with each record source I found when I was making my initial list.
- Coming up with a list of possible sources to research was very helpful even if it seemed time consuming to set up on the front end. I have short time periods here and there to search with working full time. When I have the time to sit down for a few minutes I search haphazardly for information. Having the list of sources made my time searching much more focused and actually more productive. I didn’t need to stop and think about what I had already done because I kept results of my searches in my spreadsheet.
- My list of sources of information will come in handy as I continue to search for information on Amanda’s life.
- I have other family lines from this area of Pennsylvania. Now that I have developed a list of resources for this county I can use that list to search other family lines as well.
- Even though you think you are familiar with an author’s work look for other titles by the same author. I wonder why Mr. Bradsby collected this information? Was he paid to record the information or was it a hobby?
In future posts I will talk about 2 interesting finds while I was researching Amanda’s birth information.
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,