Genealogy image8 copy.jpg

Documentary Research

Many underutilized and unappreciated records are available to help tell your ancestor’s story. Below are examples of the types of records available to research. 

Did your ancestor own a farm?

We can find out how many bushels of corn the fields produced.  If there was an estate sale, we might be able to learn the details about who attended and what they bought. Studying the estate inventory provides a snapshot of the daily life of your ancestor. 

Even if your ancestor did not own property, he likely still paid taxes. Tax lists provide a comparative data for an individual within his community context.

Did your ancestor immigrate aboard a ship?

Passenger lists might identify travelling companions. We might be able to find an image of that ship and records at the port of disembarkation. Did your ancestor naturalize?  We can find records of that event, some may even include a photograph.


Would you like to view the physical outline and the the number of stories and locations of the doors and windows of your ancestor’s home? 

Fire insurance maps teach us about the physical construction of your ancestor’s home within a neighborhood context. 

Did your ancestor serve in the Civil War?

We might be able to find his widow’s application for a pension.  An ancestor’s military pension application might identify details of his marriages. Some applications even include torn pages from the family bible.