Based on popular feedback from pajamas & pedigrees members, I opted to use a single family for all three sessions in December. It gave some continuity to the sessions for the month and I was also able to showcase how to use several different genealogy methodologies and family tree building tools.
My current research goal is to correctly identify all of the children of Jonathan Sanford Dunlap (1785-1852) and Anne Sears (1785-1838). While in the process of that, I also want to identify all of the descendants of this couple. There are a lot of different avenue to take to reach this goal.
In the first two sessions, I focused on finding all of the identified and possible family members in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census. Of course, as you probably know, from 1790 to 1840, the census only lists the head of household with tick marks designating age and gender of the other people living there. Even so, there are still great clues to be found in these early census records.
I had loads of success in those first two sessions and, in the process, was able to demonstrate some of my favorite methodologies and tools. These included the following:
- how to effectively use notes to track and analyze your findings (read my full blog post on that here)
- some search tips and tricks for finding people in the census
- how to clean up old research to make sure you are climbing your family tree and not someone else's
- why it's a good idea to use multiple tabs in your browser window when reviewing records
- how to deal with errors in records and record indexing
The Dunlap/Search family was front and center in the third session of the month as well but instead I focused on AncestryDNA® ThruLines® to identify descendants of this couple. Other things people learned in the session included:
- understanding shared DNA
- verifying suggested relationship paths
- tips and tricks for finding living people
I made some great progress on my Dunlap/Sears family research goal this month. And, members of pedigrees & pajamas™ learned some useful new skills to apply to their own family tree climbing.
If you joined p&p in December and have maintained your membership, you still have access to the recordings of these sessions. Click the links below to review them.
9 Dec 2022 - Tracking a Large Family in the 1840 Census (Part One)
10 Dec 2022 - Tracking a Large Family in the 1840 Census (Part Two)
16 Dec 2022 - Tracking Descendants of a Common Ancestor Couple Using AncestryDNA
If you haven't joined us yet, please do so. I can share all of my best tips and tricks (and often do on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook) but there is just something about watching someone dive in and do it. It activates a whole different learning center of our brains. Plus it's way more fun.