In order to avoid an endless page I have split the subject of Investigation into specific pages. The following links provide specific information on conducting an investigation (interview) over the phone, investigation in the field, and the tools needed for a sound scientific investigation. I like to point out that I believe in handling all investigations scientifically. This means background researching, interviewing of witnesses, the physical layout of the site, documentation of everything that you do within the investigation. It is the only way you can keep yourself in check and be able to provide others with your findings in a manner that will provide written verification of facts to assist your claims.
Background research is essential in all investigations. It is the cornerstone to any scientific investigation and is a necessary tool to provide actual facts about your case (not hearsay) and will help the validity of any findings. The internet can provide you with a place to start, but do not expect it to provide you with details in your specific search. The local library (near the investigation) is your best bet in most situations. Not only do they contain information with the local area, they can provide you with a place to look elsewhere. Do not be afraid to ask for help! Local government offices are the next best place to search. They should be able to provide you with documentation on cemeteries and property history. A quick trip through the government offices section of the white pages is a healthy start. Historical societies can also provide great support in your research. It will be necessary to make phone calls and ask many questions to search for most information, but it is well worth the time and effort in the long run. Once you become familiar with the resources available in your area you will become comfortable in traveling to other areas to do other background research. Remember, each city has its restrictions on the offices and information available to the public, it's just a matter of asking questions to find the area that will provide you with what you are looking for.
The Art and Science of Investigations