So in an amazing group called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, we had a speaker who was able to go quite in depth about his families passages to Canada and well there is more challenge for your records:
Have you a time line of each person?
- Birth: date, location, notes, time, conditions, news paper announcements, declarations, betrothals, inheritance
- Religious entry: baptism, ceremony, circumcision notes, welcoming,
- Education: did they make it passed grade school? Where? Any teachers comments or cool details?
- Employment or contract record: how’s did they make ends meet? Did they trade or barter. Did they just do as their parents taught them? Trade tickets, education advancement certificates
- Habitation: rental agreement, land titles, inheritance documents
- Legal documents: land titles, sales or auction stubs/receipts, proof of ownership, wills and estate releases, jail time, court documents, tickets, dovorce decrees, warrants, certificates, police records (stolen goods, indecent acts, drunken)
- Marriage: was it civil religious or presumed? Full records give the (full details of)parents of the bride and groom? Was there betrothal?engagement? Newspaper announcements? Invitations? Visas issued for travel? Passports for honeymoons?
- Babies: any record of the child’s birth can declare the parents where they were born? Miscarriages, still borns, proper burial? Was there formal records? Small town could be registered in the nearest city later…
- Census: can you track each one during the area
- Phone book records or address card or voting notification cards
- Military: draft or volunteer vards, Mia letter, service records, discharge papers
- Travel records: was there legit passports or journal records of boarder crossings? Was there any bribe records (cause that is a thing) bills of lading, arrival, departure, immigration, deportations, holding, emigration, passport stamps, lost luggage notes, death at sea, missing in action
- Money: they had it or spent it or lacked it… trace bigger chunks of it.
- Health records: immunization cards, plague victim lists
- Body records: cemetery, funeral arrangements, disposal records, donation acceptance, recovery or transfer
I actually digitalized every piece of paper less books and am going piece by piece sorting and validating every piece of proof. Time lines and legends help. Enjoy the hunt.