Tracking the entire family is excellent genealogical advice. Sometimes it is easier said than done, especially when the ancestor was married three times, had children over a twenty-year time span, and moved from place to place. Keeping the various relatives, in-laws, and step-relatives straight is a never-ending yet important struggle. To find the "desired" person, many times it is necessary to research the extended family as well in hopes that they left behind clues about the person for whom I am actually searching.
So it was in locating the entire set of siblings for my ancestor Noentje Grass. Born in Backemoor, Germany, in 1848. The rest of the story continues in Finding Gesche, which is the story of my search for Gesche Fecht Weerts Grass Heyen, my step-great-great-great-grandmother.
This column originally appeared on 21 April 2009.