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From Larry Naukam at The In-Depth Genealogist …
Lately a term called cluster genealogy has become all the rage to study up on. It means, simply, to look at collateral relatives, neighbors, and similar people out of the direct line of your tree in hopes of extending your successful research.
What is a collateral? It’s someone who is not in your direct line of ancestors or descendants. But I hit some brick walls a long time ago, and broke down most of them by doing exactly that back in the day.