Here are tips from @ancestry


It’s written for census records but it really speaks to the search process…


 1 – always look at the page before and after, many records/images are two sided, so if you don’t scroll, you miss out

 2 – focus on unusual names, when you can’t find one family member, look for another

 3 – look for first names only, or search with less criteria

 4 – use wildcards ? *

 5 – record the details, it forces you to become familiar with the ancestor and provides clues; when sharing stories the images are not always clear but if you have transcribed what you find everyone learns; or if you should lose the image, you have the details

 6 – reverse surname and first name

 7 – look for a neighbor, or the other people included in the record, like informants on death certificates, family members in death notices, witnesses for marriage and citizenship…

 8 – compare handwriting, look for other words that you can identify to help decipher the penmanship

 9 – just browse, you don’t always have to search

 10- think differently; one search result for me presented an image that didn’t match my ancestor, then I realized they were alphabetical, indexed incorrectly by more than 200 images, but I was able to find the match.