Where to start research, i.e. which country/continent?

by Maribette
(Hot Springs, AR USA)

Ancestor via Immigration records origin Alsace-Lorraine, but came to USA (PA) via the West Indies-- Using Caribbean source (book), the info. is "sketchy."


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Where to Start?
by: Suzele

Hi Maribette,

I can't really tell you where to start. First you need more information like the name of your ancestor, some significant date like birthdate or death date or even marriage date can be helpful.

And then there's the where. That is always the hardest even if you know the region. Because there are thousands of villages in a region in France.

And Alsace-Lorraine. That's 2 regions. And Lorraine is at least twice the size of Alsace, more like three times larger.

So it really helps to have some more information to narrow down the location. Otherwise someone will spend more hours than you can imagine trying to find somone in thousands of village records.

Keep in mind that even if you find a name or a record somewhere, you still have to read it. And that can be extremely difficult in Alsace.

Of course, I've seen some badly written French records, but we also have badly written German and Latin records : )

And did I mention that German records are written in a very different writing style that is very hard to read.

Reading old badly written French and German documents is something I can help with of course : )as well as digging through records.

Hope it helps,

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