I am a paper person. If I find something I print it out. Use up a lot of cartridges, BUT somewhere down the road all of these documents come into play.
1. NC--has put draft applications on line. I found this on Ancestry.com. I looked up every male on my ancestry list, whether I knew they lived in the state or not. I found a lot of surprizes and a lot more info.
2.Death certificates. periodically I recheck names to see if there is anything else that has been added to Ancestry. Sometimes I get the leaf, other times I go to member collaboration and see if anyone is researching the surname. I email them through ancestry. That sometimes work out.
3. I try to get the best for my buck on Ancestry. I then take information that I save and add it in to my RootsMagic family tree program, that I keep off line and private.
4. I do a lot of snail mailing. There are many small churches and other churches that may or may not have the technical instruments. If it's computers, their computer can be set to send a lot of info to SPAM. Your emails may never be seen.
I use a system of printing a short bio of the ancestor of interest, On the header I list all the names addresses and persons I am sending the letter to, date the letter, save it on my computer and print the SAME letter to every church I have listed. Everybody gets the same letter. But the trick is the envelope may be blue, yellow, orange. The letter may be various colors. I do this so when they get the mail, this blue envelope addressed to the Church secretary or Deacon will stand out. Won't look like a bill. The letter when read, sometimes white paper gets lost in the shuffle, orange or green won't. A orange, green or yellow letter will stand out.
You have to do what you can to draw attention to your info.
5. Everything on death certificates is important. Every name, informants name, address, date, cemetary name just everything. Do a geographical search of addresses and cemetaries. Look for THE COLORED CEMETARIES. It won't say Colored, but you know all colored folks got buried in the same cemetaries. If the funeral homes still exist send them a copy of all correspondance that you have mailed out and a letter just to them stating your request.
It just might fall into the right hand. Somebody might just get curious and ask one of the seniors 'do they know these people'. Then positive feed back.
One stamp can find a entire family branch.
ONE LAST THING Always keep a copy in a file cabinet of ALL correspondence you mail out. I was just contacted my a new cousin, who never recieved my snail mail, she traveled a lot. BUT I have the letter I sent her and her brother. I'm ready. She may just recieve either a 8x11 envelpe or a lot of emails.I can back up what I say.
For those of you who would like to start building a family tree that you can control on or off line....
www.geni.com. I use it for a seperate family line that I find difficult. You can scan pictures into the names. It is FREE.