As a New York genealogist, I often get some pretty specific requests from people.
When people have reached a roadblock, they tend start looking for a little help. Even though they have searched high and low, for years in some cases, they want a guarantee that I will solve their mystery in 2 hours.
With that in mind, you can imagine what a relief it is for me when I get a client that understands the benefit of gathering as much information as possible on their ancestor’s extended family, even if their main interest is not in finding distant relatives. What happens a lot of the time is you find out that some other family member that you don’t even know exists right now, has already researched your common ancestor, and may have already found out everything you could ever hope to learn about your ancestor’s.
Whenever a new client wants to move straight back in time and pass a roadblock that he has been stuck at, I always take the approach of expanding the project to include filling in the entire family tree. For example, if you want to find out exactly where in “Prussia” your Great, great, great Grandparents came from, but the records do not state an exact city, then maybe he or she had a brother, and his records supply that information.
This is what happened in a recent case for me.
The stats speak for themselves – We provided 64 Documents including Census reports, Naturalization records, Brooklyn Business Directory listings, Newspaper articles from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York Standard, The New York Times, The Herald Statesman, from Yonkers, N.Y, Housing records and passport applications to name a few.
Using other New York City records I was able to pull an address and phone number for my clients distant (and unknown until I found him) cousin. We are also waiting for about 5 different Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates ordered from New York City Archives, all documents ordered based of my finding the certificate numbers.
The request to find the exact city the clients ancestor came from was discovered not from finding a record of his that recorded it, but from the brother of that ancestor having a record that supplied the information.
At this point there is still a lot to be learned about this family from the Certificates that are on order, but at this point I already have an extremely happy client that has learned much more then he was expecting. More to follow.