Following every clue leads to genealogy success

By Barry Ewell

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 12 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Clue 6: I decided to retrace my steps from the previous three clues to see if I had missed anything. I came across an entry of a Thomas Rennick who had four children, one named Ann. The entry for Thomas simply said, "Little is known about this family." This was the only Ann that did not have a spouse. Was this the Ann I was looking for? At least I knew that the Rennicks and Faubers were in Lancaster County at the same time.

For the next step, I went back to the Lancaster County area and began to look through the four shelves of books, looking for a Christen and Ann Fauber. I didn't find them. I went home around 4:30 in the afternoon. For an hour and a half, I pondered all of my research that day. I couldn't get rid of the feeling that I needed to return to the library that very day to find information that I knew existed. I arrived at the library at 7:30 p.m., went back to the Lancaster shelves, and looked over the same books I had looked through earlier. As I was getting ready to close the second-to-last book on the fourth shelf, the thought entered my mind to look again. There it was — a child born to Ann and Christian Fauber. I was really excited. I didn't find a record of the wedding, but I found several births for the Fauber family.

For more than 20 years, people have been looking for this family.

Lessons learned:

  • Follow every clue, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
  • One clue leads to another clue.
  • Clues linked together form a picture.
  • Research available resources to find overlooked clues.
  • If you only search for surnames, you may miss the clues you need.
  • Use spreadsheets to view all available findings.
  • Follow thoughts and promptings you receive during research.

Barry J. Ewell is the author of "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips and Tricks for Discovering your Family History" and founder of MyGenShare.com, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.

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