Ex­pand the story

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - FOCUS ON -

If you do man­age to iden­tify your an­ces­tor’s ship­wreck then there’s plenty of op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand on the story. Look for a book or web­site about the ship­ping com­pany that owned the ves­sel or the ship­wreck it­self, and this will of­ten give you more de­tail about the cir­cum­stances of the ves­sel’s loss, per­haps even a pic­ture of the ship.

News­pa­pers are par­tic­u­larly good for fill­ing in the gaps in other sources and adding de­tail to the events. Re­porters may in­ter­view sur­vivors, de­scribe dra­matic res­cues and pro­vide pic­tures. They of­ten list the vic­tims and the sur­vivors, which is es­pe­cially help­ful in the era be­fore pas­sen­ger lists. With­out news­pa­pers, for ex­am­ple, we would never know the full story of the very un­for­tu­nate John Pater­son. He was on his way from Southamp­ton to South Africa on

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