Press Release

Genealogy Search Strategies To Identify Poorer Ancestors, Report Series Released

In the latest series of reports, titled Poor Ancestors Are Not Invisible, author Rick T. Wilson describes how an individual can use indirect evidence from non-traditional documentation to identify ancestors who were neither wealthy, prominent, nor landowners.

For the first part of the report, please visit

The 3-part report series highlights how historical biases can lead to a lack of comprehensive record groups for a person’s lesser-known ancestors. According to ‘My Family Pattern’s’ founder, while estate records and land deeds are some of the best sources of names and vital statistics for more ancient members of an individual’s family tree, such archives may not be available to people if their ancestors were poor or didn’t own land.

As such, Wilson explores unconventional sources and indirect evidence that family historians may use to identify someone’s ancestors, including pension applications that date back as far as 1788. He notes that these applications often contain detailed information related to birth, current and past places of residence, and years of service in the army, and that these pieces of data can be used in conjunction with autosomal DNA matches to track distant relatives.

Wilson says that poorhouse records can also provide contextual information about a person’s ancestors, including the circumstances that led to them becoming impoverished, the time of admission into the poorhouse, any allowances they may have received, and whether they had school-aged children. Furthermore, as impoverished individuals were more likely to borrow money, additional information can be gleaned from debtor records and civil court cases.

The second part of the report dives into poorhouse records. Please visit

About “My Family Pattern”

As a Genealogy Patternologist with over 30 years of experience in genealogical research, Wilson founded “My Family Pattern” to help others like him discover their roots. Wilson has been working with Y-DNA since 2006 and autosomal DNA since 2011.

“Genealogical pattern recognition is about attending to the small details found in every record, such as an unfamiliar name or location, and then correlating them with known information,” says Wilson. “It’s about understanding early migration routes and historical context, and then finding patterns within DNA matches that are more nuanced than surnames. This is what I do.”

Interested parties should also check out the the third part of the report about debtor records searches by visiting

My Family Pattern, LLC

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