General Tips for “Crossing the Pond”

My friend, Cheri Hudson Passey, invited me to submit an article with a few genealogy tips for her blog, Carolina Girl Genealogy. I was honored to be asked, and decided to share some suggestions for people who are embarking on research in a foreign country. I wrote the article to apply to a general audience.

It begins as follows:

Today’s tips come from Carol Kostakos Petranek of the Spartan Roots Blog. Although her research takes her to Greece, her tips will help those trying to locate ancestors in their native countries. 

My research is focused on a not-so-common area of the world: Sparta, Greece. However, as I made my way “across the pond,” I found that many of the steps I undertook are applicable to anyone researching in a foreign country. To be successful, you MUST know the original surname and village/place of birth. This means a thorough research process in the U.S. to find any and all documents that could possibly exist for your immigrant ancestor and his immediate family. Without these two pieces of information, your overseas research will not be successful.

  1. Connect with other researchers via social media.
  2. Conduct Google searches using the google country domain address for the foreign country, and typing the query using that country’s language.
  3. Explore U.S. record sets that may be especially helpful (and often overlooked).
  4. Use the White Pages on the Internet to find living people in the village where your ancestors originated.
  5. Learn the general history of your country of interest to understand where records may be.

The full article, with links and details, can be found here:  Carolina Girl Genealogy:  Tuesday’s Tip, Getting By With Help from Our Friends.