Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching

Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching

Summary Details

Length: 60 minutes

Summary: While you may think you’ve hit a brick wall with your research, have you tried using cluster and collateral search strategies to look for an opening? Researching non-direct relations as well as those friends and neighbors in your ancestors’ network can pay off in ways you might not imagine.

Description:  Learn why researching those in-laws, “shirt-tail cousins” and others who may not be a direct-line ancestor as well as “friends, neighbors and associates” can help you break down your genealogy research brick walls.

Audience Level: Beginner

Requirements: Projection for laptop/netbook computer on large screen; internet connection – wired or wireless (preferred in order to show live websites and resources).

Content: 4 page handout


  • Your Ancestors Had a Network
  • Collateral Searching – How to Make it Pay Off!
  • Cluster Searching – It’s All In Who They Knew
  • Resources for Cluster and Collateral Searching
  • Piecing Together the Cluster and Collateral Evidence
  • Glossary
  • Resoruce List

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee