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Friday, May 27, 2011

When Asking for Help, Provide Needed Information

Ching asked a question about his (her?) grandfather

Hi, I wonder if you could help me find my grandfather in my father's side, I don't know how to start because my father didn't got a chance to meet him since birth, No one even wants to tell my grandpa's name. I don't know what to do now. Can you give me some solutions? thank you! response:

Dear Ching - You've given me a generic question so I can only give you a brief generic answer.

You have not told me a location (where did your father or grandfather live? USA? Canada? China? Australia? Germany? .... or.....)

You have not given me a year or approximate year (or even century!). Since I have no idea how old YOU are, I can't being to estimate a year of birth for your grandfather. For example, if you are 20, and your dad was 20 when you were born, and your grandpa 20 when your dad was born, that takes us back to an estimated birth year of 1950 or so. So, one necessary fact in any query is LOCATION

Provide a continent, a state, a province, a parish, a city or town name - something to allow the person to guide you. All countries hold different genealogy records at different times and in different repositories

But if you are 50 and your dad was 30 and your grandpa 30 we start getting estimated birth years for grandpa of circa 1900! See the difference? And of course I have no way of knowing anyone's ages when their son/daughter was born. Another necessary fact in a query is YEAR

Always give some kind of estimate in a query, such as "My grandfather was born around 1910"

So jumping back to your question. You will have to start looking for birth and marriage records. Find your dad's birth record or his marriage record. That should give his father's name (depending what country you are searching in, and the time period!)

Perhaps there are available census records, depending on your dad's year of birth. And where he was born and lived.

Talk to family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, anyone you can find, and ask questions.

One other suggestion when asking for help - it's best to follow instructions on the website as to where to write for the help you want. You posted your query as a comment on another blog post. But at the top of every page on my blog it explains that you must send your query to ASKOLIVE@GMAIL.COM

Normally I delete queries that are posted as comments. I made an exception with yours because I hope you will take my suggestions, rewrite your query with the needed details, and resubmit to the correct email address.

I'd love to help you if I can

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