5-Steps << Genealogy and Technology <<
Genealogy and Technology:
|How Megan Used the 5-Step Research Process|
|Step 1: Write down what you know.
||Megan's only awareness of anyone with her same last name of Smolenyak was as a little girl when she passed an auto shop with "Smolenyak's Auto Body" painted on one wall. For 22 years she looked for others with the same name. She tried all the usual tactics - vital, church, census, newspaper, military, ethnic and other records- but still had nothing to show for it. Still, that dusty childhood memory lingered in the back of her mind and wouldn't let her give up the hunt.|
|Step 2: Decide what you want to learn.
||She determined to track down any other Smolenyaks in the U.S.|
|Step 3: Choose a source of information.
||After looking at many other sources without success, Megan decided to try the Social Security Death Index available via the Internet.|
|Step 4: Learn from the source.
||Megan searched the Social Security Death Index and found two people in the Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania area with the name Smolenyak and Smolenak. Taking advantage of having an unusual name, she called information in this area and got several listings for Smolenyaks and, Smolenaks. On her second call, she reached Mike Smolenak, who had also been researching his family for years with limited results. Megan was thrilled to have discovered a distant cousin and genealogical playmate!|
|Step 5: Use what you learned.
||Megan found other Smolenyaks and with her cousin, Mike, started the Osturna Family Association and a newsletter to share the findings. They started a web site to make it still easier for Osturnites to share news and photos. In 1966, they planned a reunion trip to Osturna in Slovakia. Thirty-seven Americans whose parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents had come from Osturna went back to meet their cousins for the first time. At the reunion, one of Megan's fellow travelers was none other than Andrew Smolenyak, the man who had owned the auto shop that had kept her looking for other Smolenyaks for all those years.|
Video Clip- Research Process
34kbps(56k modem) |
A general overview of the genealogical 5-Step
-Detailed explanation of the 5-Step research process-