November is National Memoir Writing Month

Typewriter with the words National Memoir Writing Month above the logos for Ancestry and HeritageQuest

Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest can help you discover more about yourself than just who your ancestors were.  Did you grow up in one place but were actually born in a different place that you don’t remember? How can you write about yourself if you don’t know anything about the place where you were born? Want to talk about how your grandparents influenced you but don’t know much about how where they grew up influenced them?

Ancestry and Heritage Quest have more information at your fingertips than just family members. Use “Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers” to look at maps that were produced around the time you were born. If your grandparents played a large part in your childhood, see where they grew up so you can understand more about them and their lives.

And remember if you can’t find your grandparents in a “census,” go back to a census where they are listed and search their neighbors. You may find relatives living nearby. Search for the relatives in the census that doesn’t list your grandparents, you could find that they were living with relatives. Don’t forget about “City and Area Directories” as a source when looking for your ancestors. Take that street address and search a map browser like Google Maps or McNallys to see if that street still exists and the home is still standing.

Also you can discover where your grandparents or great-grandparents were born, married, and died by searching "Birth, Marriage & Death." Once you know the location a quick search for that hometown can yield a host of information about where your grandparents once walked.

Wills, Probates, Land, Tax & Criminal” can help you learn more about the area you vaguely remember. Try searching for land deeds, tax papers, and wills to see who previously owned your grandparents home. Maybe they had to go to court so don’t forget to check there too.

Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs” can help you understand some of the terms you discovered in your searches. Use these references to fill in the gaps in your historical knowledge.

And don’t forget that Ancestry Library Edition has been made available outside the library until December 31, 2020. Make sure you do as much searching as you can before it is not available in the privacy of your home.