Have you ever had trouble finding an ancestor becouse of their surname? I have!

Here’s a few tips for how to find your ancestors

  1. Use * or ? when searching for letters that could be easily misread or swapped. When I search for the Lastname Pyska I will search for ysk because the first P often gets misread as T and since Polish surnames are gendered it could be written as Tyski or Tysky.
  2. If your ancestor spoke a different language, learn how to pronounce the name. For example, my middle name is Lis and in Polish, it would be pronounced like Lease and if you add a Galician accent to that it sounds like Sies to an American. So it’s important to remember language and how names sound.
  3. Search for only first name, place, and age. At first thought, this sounds like a bad idea and it can be, but if you have an uncommon first and a smaller place then this stagy could work. If I look for Janina Glinczewski in Philadephia, in 1940 there’s only 11 Janina’s in all of Philadephia. It’s definitely a strategy for finding people but id only uses this strategy as the last chance.

If you used any of these tips or they helped you during your genealogy journey, make sure to share your pictures and stories using #GenZGenealogy and tagging @TheHiddenBranch!