We’ve all been there: uncovering an ancestral line based on records or on family stories when suddenly the records vanish–and with them, our ancestor. Our family lore has failed us, and the records aren’t where we think they should be. Though it’s easy to feel disheartened, getting a negative search result is actually a good thing!
Moving away from what we think we know by expanding our search and thinking outside the box can refocus our attention on important details and on finding the correct path, rather than relying on inaccurate records and lore. Plus, it’s possible to find new data and paint a bigger, more accurate picture of our ancestors’ lives by searching outwards from pieces of known data. The empty spaces in your tree can lead to a far more interesting truth by reaching down avenues you would not have gone otherwise. Here are some of the benefits a negative search result can help your family history research: