Guessing a Place

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How to figure out the place to search when documenting an event in an ancestor's life. Use the places already on the family group record as a guide.

In order to document an event a researcher must sometimes guess the place where the event happened.

Look at the places already shown on a family group record to identify the most likely places for additional events.

  • In order to determine the place to look first, look at the dates and places of known events closest to the date of the event you want to find.
  • Look up each family member in all censuses, tax lists, land records, and directories during their lifetimes in order to pin down places where they lived in specific years. Add each of these events to the family group record.
  • The most likely place for a child’s birth is the place where the parents were married.
  • The most likely place for a marriage is (1) the residence of the bride’s mother, or (2) the birthplace of the oldest child.
  • The most likely place for a person’s death is (1) where the youngest child was born, or (2) at the residence of one of the children.
  • The most likely place for a burial is near the grave of a spouse.
  • An obituary often summarizes a person’s life. It gives hints about places where key events occurred. It may list the residence of surviving family members.

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