I am glad for your Muller genealogy, its looks O.K. Before 1500 it is much difficult for many reasons. Only experts can help you, they become super-experts for that period, they have to know so much and its depends on the quality of the expert. Very difficult, for instance for canton de Vaud, rootsweb forum, there is a super-expert John McCoy I allow myself to duplicate one of his letters; Why you can't depend on indexes! Author: John McCoyDate: 4 May 2000 12:00 PM GMT Surnames: PIGNOLLET, LAURENT, BIEN Classification: Query I should know better, but I almost missed an important document because I put too much faith in an index. Here's what happened:
A volume of notarial records from the 1520's, on microfilm, began with a handwritten index made by the notary himself, Pierre Chuard of Payerne. It was alphabetical by first name, as was usually done in those days, but it appeared to be very detailed. It was easy to scan the index and write down the pages that I needed to study.
Somehow I got interested in a document on a facing page and so I began to read page by page. Suddenly there it was, the testament of my ancestor Girard PIGNOLLET! It was in Latin in two different hands. Eventually I located a passage where the curate of the church of Payerne accepted a sum of money from the widow to celebrate the anniversary of Girard's decease every February 16th, thus establishing his exact death date as 16 feb 1525/26. This wife is listed as Jeannetta, daughter of Laurent Bien, and he names two sisters, a nephew Henri LAURENT, four daughters, and a step-son.
This document was not in the index, because it consisted of a couple loose leaves inserted later into the main volume. It is very common to encounter loose papers inserted in the bound volumes, and of course these papers were not listed in the volume's index, if it had one.
Moral of this story, READ EVERY PAGE! EVEN (and especially) THE FLY-LEAVES AND ODD SCRAPS YOU MAY FIND PASTED IN OR FILMED OFF TO THE SIDE! EVEN IF YOU FIND AN INDEX!
(Another reason not to trust an index: more than once I have found a volume where the notary did not complete the index. The index only went as high as page 250 or so, but the volume had over 400 pages!)