Genealogy the Old-Fashion Way

I spent yesterday at Arlington Heights Library looking at microfilm.  I was able to take one of my family lines back another generation to 1757.  That’s 254 years!  It’s always fun when you have a successful day!

Four weeks ago I ordered microfilm from the Family History Library in Utah.  I wanted the baptism, marriage, and burial records for Terrington-St. Clements Parish in Norfolk, England.  I was especially interested in Eliza Bowers.  I have a picture of her grave stone, but unfortunately I could not read it beyond her name.  Somehow she was missed when they indexed the records.  I thought maybe the film was bad, but it was crystal clear and in good condition.  The handwriting was excellent.  So why she was missed, I don’t know.    I didn’t know if she was my Eliza Bowers or not, but I knew there was an Eliza Bowers buried there so she should be in the index.  I did find her and her daughter Eliza who was also missed in the index as well as other family members who were missed.  The records said son of. . . or daughter of. . . so I was able to make the family connections thus taking me back another generation. 

I always tell the students in my classes to look at the source yourself.  This held true yesterday.  On Eliza’s marriage record it listed her as widow.  All the rest of the information was also on the index record.  If  I went by the index record only, I would have missed this information.  Previous to this I had thought that Eliza’s maiden name was Linford, but it was probably her first husband’s name.   If  I didn’t look at the record, I could be barking up the wrong tree. 

Another thing I mention in my classes is that the Internet is not always right and indexing on some of these sites leaves a lot to be desired.   I have documents from when I did genealogy the old fashion way before the Internet.  When I type my ancestor’s name in it comes up with a zero.  I try different spellings and still no luck.  So it always pays to go to the source.  So much can be missed if you just depend on the Internet.  There is nothing like doing genealogy the old fashion way!    I spent many hours yesterday looking at the film and copying anyone that had the same surnames I was looking for.  I didn’t mind it, I enjoyed the hunt. 

I have more microfilm on order, and I’m looking forward to more hunting.

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