By Dale E. Lee
I recently ran into an article on the interesting concept of Reverse Genealogy.
What is Reverse Genealogy?
It’s a fairly simple concept: Go back up a generation on the family tree and search back down from there.
Many times in researching Family History we run into roadblocks where the information we expected to find about a particular ancestor is more difficult to find than expected. It is important to remember that you need to be innovative in finding ways to help you legally get around, over, under, or through roadblocks. The following is a strategy you can use to resolve this particular kind of issue:
- Back up a generation to the parents of the ancestor in question and check for documents relating to his or her siblings. Sometimes an ancestor may have been a witness to an event, or mentioned in a document relating to other members of the family. Even if you can’t find documentation that directly relates to your relative, you may find indirect information on documents related to parents or siblings.
- If you can’t find your ancestor by referring to documents relating to the immediate family, back up a generation to his or her Grandparents. Then start searching down the family tree from there the same way you did for the siblings and parents. It may be that an Uncle or Cousin has a document that mentions your relative, such as those attending a funeral, mentioned in an obituary, attending a family reunion, marriage, or other similar events.
- Etc., backing up a generation as you go.
As you can see, if at first you don’t succeed, try again using a different strategy. Though the strategy above is certainly not the only strategy that can possibly be attempted, it may be one you may not have yet considered.
The article on Reverse Genealogy I mentioned above is a short article having a diagram showing the implementation of the use of the Reverse Genealogy technique. You can review it at Family Tree Magazine:
This is yet another tool you can put in your genealogical research toolbox.
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