After systematically searching every person on my current Name List (still Brawley/Braley) for whom I had not previously located a grave marker, I move on to the next step.
Again, please do not imagine that I am telling you this is the way it must be done! This is just the process that works for me.
Step #2: ancestry.com
This is a paid-site (okay, go ahead and get it out of your system: booooooooooooo) but it does have a set of information that is free.
What ancestry.com is best known for is the vast collection of census lists.
These lists alone are worth the cost of the subscription.
But the site also has a wealth of other categories that are accessible with your payment: birth, marriage, and death records, just to name a few.
And the cost ends up being around 50 cents a day…which is why most of the serious genealogists subscribe.
Okay, off my soapbox.
Except one more thing: the family trees feature, which is my actual Step #2.
You can enter all your relevant family tree info, and even add pictures, stories, or any other relevant data, which is very nice and tidy.
But more importantly, you can instantly compare your family tree with other ancestry.com subscribers’ trees, meaning you are much more likely to connect with someone you are related to…or at least someone who may have data on your ancestry!
This. Is. Huge. Even if they do not have their research documented, it is far, far preferable to have an in-the-ballpark answer, as opposed to no answer or clue at all.
By now you’ve surely seen the commercials for ancestry.com where they feature those little leaves you can click on.
Let me assure you, The Leaves Are Real.
And there are hundreds of them, as you continue adding ancestors and data to your tree!
It takes considerable time and patience, but this is my Step #2: actually loading all the names and data from my Name List into my ancestry.com Family Tree, and then checking and comparing all the leaves.
It will take time. And Patience. But it is amazing the amount of information you will get in return!