I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but I enjoy building my family tree on Ancestry.com. With millions of records at my fingertips, they make it easy to grow my tree in a short amount of time.
Yet, even the big family tree websites do not have all the records available for your search. Sometimes, you hit a brick wall.
In fact, I am currently trying to find a birth or baptism record on my elusive ancestor, Daniel Wakenight. From the records on Ancestry.com, I discovered that he was born around 1792 in Maryland. I know he lived in the Boonsboro and Hagerstown area for over 30 years from census records.
As I wondered what to do next, a thought occurred to me. I went online to the Maryland State Archives. I discovered that they had a variety of records, but none that were relevant to my search.
My next attempt was at the county level. I found the Washington County MD Historical Society, which has a Research Center. For a small fee, they have personnel that will do the searching for me. The charge for this service is minimal in my mind. I live in Nevada and to travel to Maryland is not very cost efficient for a simple inquiry. I sent them an email with the question and am awaiting their reply.
I also remembered that Daniel and his family were Lutherans. I found the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Boonsboro on the internet. I have sent them an email, too. I hope that they can tell me if baptism records exist for that time frame and general area.
As you can see, I stepped “outside the box” to find more information on Daniel Wakenight. With a little thought, you can sometimes find treasure in hidden places. And, right now, I have X’s on the map of Maryland, ready to dig up the bounties!
Even though Ancestry.com did not have all the records for Daniel, they pointed me in the right direction. When I began my search, I looked at other family trees on their website. They supplied me with information that I did not have at that time. So, it is beneficial to check out other family trees to see what they may have gathered. Sometimes, they have done all the work for you.
I will keep you updated on what I find out from my email inquiries. If you have any suggestions on where I should look, please leave a message in the Comments Section of this page. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Photo by Oxana V on Unsplash.