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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing a Good Query Will Get You Better Responses

Nina asked a question but unfortunately didn't provide details necessary for Olive Tree Genealogy to answer specifically.

I have worked in both USA and Canadian records regarding Jackman and Reynolds families.  I know that Richard Jackman married to Mary ? (surname may be Morton, Reynolds, or Miller, but mostly likely was Reynolds.)  Their Bible had John Jackman (for whom I cannot find residence, wife, children), Elizabeth Jackman who md. William Wallace, William Jackman who md. Catherine Monks/Munks, Edward Jackman who did not marry, Ann/ Nancy Jackman or whom I don't have a marriage.  There was another child whose name was not in the bible - Hiram Reynolds Jackman who md. Martha Oliver.
Do you have any information on this family?  What was the surname of Mary who was md. to Richard Jackman Sr.?  Is there any proof available regarding Hiram Reynolds Jackman who had land dealings with Richard Sr. and his sons, and certainly seems to have been another son.  He moved to Michigan after selling his land.  Please help if you can.

Nina - I'm afraid I can't answer your question precisely because there is information missing that is needed

1. You have not provided any dates. I don't know if your family was living in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s.

2. Your locations (Canada and USA) are too broad to give specific answers as to repositories you might want to check. You mention Michigan for Hiram but again with no dates or a more precise location it is not possible to give you specific answers.

Depending what years your ancestors lived and where they were living during those years affects where you should look for more details. For example I can't tell you to check church records for such and such a town/city in such and such a township/county in such and such a province/state/territory.

And since every country, township, county etc has different records for different time periods and keeps them in different locations, I cannot give you anything other than generic answers.

My generic answer would be to consult local church records where your ancestors settled. Consult local land records for deeds, wills and general information on the buying and selling of their land. Consult census records and tax or assessment records. Look for obituaries and vital registrations of births, marriages and deaths.

I can't be more specific because I don't know where or when your ancestors lived.

 Remember there are 3 key items needed when asking someone for assistance - names, locations and dates.  You may want to take a look at an article "Good Query Bad Query" for some suggestions and reminders

1 comment:

  1. I volunteer for the local Diocese and research Sacramental Records. People write in with regularity to find the records of their ancestor, John Jones(example) I just do not understand how people think we can find a needle in a haystack. I suppose everyone thinks we have every item digitized, but we do not, we are searching books over one hundred years old.

    I love your post.