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Your Ancestor’s “Fan” Club

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image of a red brick wall

October is Family Heritage Month! Many researchers run into brick walls with their research. There are different methods we can use to break down those brick walls. One such method is finding and using your ancestor’s FAN Club.

Like you, each of your ancestors had a FAN Club.  Your ancestor’s FAN Club was made of his Family and Friends, his Associates and his Neighbors.  The records left by these close contemporaries of your ancestor may contain the key to breaking down your own family history brick walls.

You can find the names of members of an ancestor’s FAN Club enumerated nearby on census returns; as witnesses or administrator to deeds, wills, and estates; as neighboring land holders; migrating with your ancestor as well as sitting together in worship.

Thanks to Elizabeth Shown Mills for giving us this memorable acronym and reminding us of the value of expanding our family history research to include members of our troublesome ancestor’s FAN Club, e.g. cluster genealogy.

Come and visit us at the Government and Heritage Library to find your ancestor’s FAN Club!.

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