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research techniques advice

research techniques advice

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 2:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Livsey
I have taken my name back to a chap called "Thomas Livsey" who was christened at Manchester Cathedral on 15th January 1804. His parents are recorded as John Livsey and Esther. He appears to have siblings James in 1802 and Ann in 1806. The obvious marriage for his parents is at the cathedral on 27 May 1802. This would make her Esther Greenwood. At this point I hit a brick wall.

My question is, how would you go about getting further back? There are plenty of options for "John Livsey" but how do you find the right one? Would a professional researcher be able to make progress or would they be guessing too? What information should I be looking for at this point?

Many thanks!

Re: research techniques advice

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 9:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello Julian

Reliable researching back from the beginning of the 18th century is problematic for most people. "Ordinary" folk were not the subject of sufficiently detailed official records to allow for the cross-checking from one documentary source to another which is necessary if research is to be more than (educated) guesswork. A very unusual name, particularly if you are researching a small, tight knit community, may allow one to decide that the odds are against there being more than one possibility. By and large, the only early documents that one can confidently rely on to provide the same degree of certainty as one gets with the marriage cert/birth cert/census combination are wills. So your chances of progress depend very much on the economic situation of your ancestors.

Professional researchers can offer good advice on the sort of records which may help in your quest and have easier access to sources which are not available online, CD or LDS film. A good researcher will help you evaluate the information they find. One who purports to be able to provide a definitive answer is probably best steered clear of.

Re: research techniques advice

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 2:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you very much for your advice. Much appreciated.
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