My Dollen Family Tree has many branches. My focus of late has been on my British ancestors. Jumping the pond proves challenging and fills me with ideas and many questions.
Information gathered from the Family Search Somerset, England Wiki has possibly advanced my trees to the early 1700s. While the indexes provide names, dates, towns, parishes etc., they do not give me scans/copies of the original documents. Naturally, I want to see the documents.
This is the point where I must use a favorite quote; “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know!” for it aptly applies to my Family Search strategies. When using Family Search, my preferred method of search has been to begin by browsing by location near the bottom of the home page. It worked well until I decided to jump the pond, as I was unable to located records for Somerset, England.
Now my cousin, Sharon, is always sharing scans of British baptismal, marriage and burial records located through Family Search. She would tell me what parish she located them in, but I was unable to find the records. I was doing something wrong!
Tired of bumping into Family Search brick wall, I decided to try a novel approach. Why not try the Family Search Catalog? I chose to search by place names.
- I entered Curry Mallet, Somerset, England. No Luck!
- I entered Somerset, England. No Luck!
- I entered England. I got lucky with an abundance of search opportunities. I needed to define my parameters.
- I entered England, Somerset, Curry Mallet. BINGO! There they were: census, church, poorhouse, taxation, and land and property records! Microfilm was ordered and I am now waiting to receive them.
It took me awhile to understand the search parameters for Family Search, but making mistakes still proves to be the best learning experience.
- When adding information to my personal trees, I always record U.S. data as city, county, state, country.
- For my British ancestors, I record town, county, country.
The logic used in my personal trees did not work with Family Search’s catalog. As I said earlier, you just don’t know what you don’t know! But now I know!
Lessoned learned: It is time to explore Family Search more thoroughly.