Researching and expanding the scope of your ancestors’ writings fills in the big picture details.

girlEveryone has a story to tell. The records and writings left behind by our ancestors are full of the details and events of their lives. Doing a little research can enhance and bring color to these stories. It can give us a true sense of who our ancestors were and how they lived.

As Barry Ewell, genealogy columnist explains, “I read in several journals and histories that my ancestors were cattle ranchers in Utah County. I am from the city and have no clue about cattle ranching. I took the opportunity to find newspaper articles about ranching in Utah. I checked the Utah State Government Brands & Animal Identification Department to find if they had a brand. I looked for photos from the early 1900s of cattle ranching in Utah and anything else I could find that would help me understand this profession as it related to Utah ranchers. Now as I write about my great-grandfather, I can better explain and provide details about what their lives as ranchers might have been like, the jobs they performed, the trials they endured and the satisfaction they may have felt.”

Our ancestors’ writings may contain facts that could benefit from further research. Perhaps a great grandmother mentioned in a journal that she visited a World’s Fair, maybe your great grandfather was present at a presidential inauguration? Looking into these interesting tidbits can enhance the story and tell us so much more about our ancestors.

There are many sources to turn to in researching facts mentioned in journals and other ancestor writings. For example, “census reports, government documents, photographs, maps, oral histories and other diaries and letters,” are all great places to start on your journey to color in the big picture of your ancestors’ adventures!

For more information, visit

Looking for help with hard to find records or genealogical questions? Contact Heirlines professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!

Give us a call and speak with one of our professional genealogists today.

Call toll free 1-800-570-4049 or visit us at