FamilySearch.org Genealogy Trick: Find Missing Children

FamilySearch.org Genealogy Trick: Find Missing Children

Are you missing a child? An ancestor’s child, I mean. Here’s a search trick to use on FamilySearch.org when you 1) don’t know all the children’s names in a family, 2) think there might be children you haven’t found or 3) think you can’t find a person because his...

Are you missing a child? An ancestor’s child, I mean.

Here’s a search trick to use on FamilySearch.org when you 1) don’t know all the children’s names in a family, 2) think there might be children you haven’t found or 3) think you can’t find a person because his or her name was mistranscribed.

This FamilySearch power-user tip is courtesy of our Family Tree University online course Become a FamilySearch.org Power User, which starts Oct. 5 and runs four weeks.

First, on the Record Search page, look under Search With a Relationship and click Parents. Enter the names of the father and mother, including her maiden name if you know it (otherwise, leave her last name blank). You also can add a place by clicking Search With a Life Event, then Any, like so:

David Norris is my third-great-uncle, the brother of my great-great-grandfather Edward Norris. I knew his wife’s first name, Catherine, from his death record.

Matches come from FamilySearch.org digital collections that include parents’ names, which might be birth, marriage or death records. This search found records for four children (three of them shown below) of a David Norris and Katherine Hines (or simply “Kate”) in Cincinnati: Elizabeth, Edna K., Mary and M. Kate.

Comparing the details in these records, such as addresses and birth, marriage and death dates, with information in other records can help me confirm that the parents are the right David and Catherine.

If so, not only will I have the names of several children (including one who was born and died in the “census gap” between 1880 and 1900), but I’ll also have a maiden name for Catherine.

FamilySearch.org won’t find matches to your parents search if it doesn’t have a record with the right names in the parent spots. For example, marriage or death records for some of David and Catherine’s children may not include parents’ names, or the children might’ve married or died in a place not covered in a FamilySearch.org collection.

You can try this type of search on any site that lets you search with a relationship, including Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.

Learn more strategies for making the most of all FamilySearch.org’s free genealogy resources in our Become a FamilySearch.org Power-user course. Learn more at Family Tree University.

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