Wednesday, March 25, 2020

From 1940 to Present Day Research Resources

8 Resources for Descendant / Forensic Genealogy


Genealogy vs Descendant Research Your project may have the objective to locate living descendants. Thirty percent of a3Genealogy research projects are classified as "descendant research." Some like to call it "forensic genealogical research." 

Genealogical research typically requires us to start with ourselves or present day and work backwards. But, what if we have an ancestor (subject) from the past and we want to uncover present day descendants? This is Descendant Research.  Also called forensic genealogical research, descendant research may be tied to the legal system to prove kinship or requires the research proof argument to include scientific support - like a DNA test result analysis. If the legal system is not involved, or DNA test analysis is not required, a3Genealogy researchers call it descendant research. We all can do this!

What needs to be done?

Your project may have the objective to locate living descendants. A well thought out research plan will be the key to your success. For our Sebastian Glos descendant research project the plan had the objective to identify addresses, emails and phone numbers of living descendants. 

Tips to Uncover 
In the Sebastian Glos descendant research project we began with a living Glos client in California. His genealogical research was traced back to Klingenm├╝ster, Germany - a normal genealogy project - start with present day and work backwards. It was proven that the Glos children came to America between 1867- 1883. 

Now we turn to Descendant Research. To uncover the descendants we put in two practices: 
1) use wildcards for names because in the Glos case, six of them changed their names early. Most were simple changes (i.e. Fanciscus became Frank); but then there was Magdelena who became Helen. HELEN???  
2) never be attached to the spelling of the surname. At least two of the Glos sons adopted the surname "Gloss." (This had to be to purposeful in order to make it more difficult for the researcher!)
8 Resources: From 1940 to Present Day Research 
The plan gets complicated between the 1940 census to present day. What resources are available to meet our objective: "identify addresses, emails and phone numbers of living descendants." Here are a few suggestions: 
1) land deeds at the county court recorders offices.  Many of these may be online.
2) city directory research and analysis
3) state voter registration cards
4) social media ferreting to include Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.
5) newspaper research for obituaries and community social news that may name parents or descendants.
6) public record research. Start with Google search. At a3Genealogy we use several databases to include our subscribed Private Investigator (PI) database.
7) vital records: available birth, death and marriage records may connect ancestors to descendants living in current day.
8) recorded wills and probates 

At a3Genealogy we often ask for Y-DNA tests results from familytreeDNA, and autosomal DNA tests results (i.e. ancestryDNA, myheritageDNA, 23&Me, etc) when applicable. These test can assist in identifying surnames and family units as we uncover "new" cousins. We were easily able to connect the Bernzott family connection - Frank Bernzott married Barbara Glos . But, to connect the Quist, Lang, Patz, & Eliason descendants of Barbara (Glos) Bernzott we turned to all eight of the suggestion resources above. These same key 8 resources apply to all Descendant Research projects.

Stay healthy and safe as you use this social distancing time for discovering ancestors and identifying cousins.  We will all want a family reunion after this is over!

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
816-729-5995
Be sure to follow us at our a3genealogy online sites and social media (below) for updated information. 
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Shelter in Place Order
Extended Deadlines
Know that many job deadlines will be extended as we work with repositories (courthouses, state archives, national archives, etc) that may be in a mandatory shutdown mode or under-staffed.

Note: a3Genealogy researchers are now scheduling for April and May projects. We are also still conducting our Do-It-Yourself Genealogy Consultation client and tutoring sessions which are in high demand. Let us know, if you wish to be added to our wait list. Contact us at 816-729-5995 Monday -Friday 10:00am - 3:00pm or by appointment: a3genealogy@gmail.com

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