How to Read a Survey

When you have found a name in the Paper Trail database there will be a list of surveys in which that name appears. You can access the survey if you are a subscriber. Click on the document and the images of the scanned pages will come up. The typical scan will contain six types of pages.

The first page describes the original document, giving the emigrant's name, the year of the journey, and if the document was ever published. The second page gives locations where the document and any copies of it may be found. The description of the journey is on this page, giving dates and places of arrival and departure, how the emigrant traveled and the routes followed. (The route codes shown are shorthand for the locations found on the fourth page.)

The third page lists the names of all people mentioned by the emigrant; there may be several pages of names. The fourth page lists the locations mentioned in the document, from the time of crossing the Missouri River (jump off) until arrival at the destination, and there may be several pages of these places. The next page lists any encounters with Indians along the way, and the final page gives any interesting or unusual details mentioned by the emigrant.

Navigate Back in your browser to return to your current queries.