Once you have traced all your ancestors
in the civil registrations as far as possible, your next option is to
try the baptism, marriage and burial registers of the Church of England
or in one of the various Nonconformist sects. By using the church records
and the 1841 to 1891 census records where they exist, you will find ample
clues for putting together the entire family. But to bring the family
to life, it is important that your search of civil registrations be accompanied
by a good map. An essential map guide to England, Wales, and Scotland
is The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers edited by
Cecil Humphery-Smith. The Genealogical Publishing Company has printed
An Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland.
Samuel Lewisís Topographical Dictionary of Ireland contains an
excellent map of each county with a history and a list of its major landowners.
Elusive ancestors are often found by moving out in
circles away from the last place the individual was known to have lived.
It is very valuable to study the history of the area in gazetteers and
local history books. By learning about the whole neighborhood, you will
learn which groups of people journeyed to which areas and for what reason.
By then searching the records in those places, you may find your missing
ancestors. Since most people walked, they might be located within a forty-mile
radius of the last place you found them.
Letís look closely at a civil registration for other
clues it might contain. Notice the occupation of the father on birth records
as well as on many marriage records. If the occupation is unique, a study
of that subject would also be useful.
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