Ideas to Break that 'Brick Wall' in Research

To help break through any brick walls in your research, you need some additional ideas, here are a few to help.

Keep your work in chronological order of all the events in your ancestor’s life and all the documents on which his name appears is the excellent method to organize the information you have.

Keep in mind, most records are reasonably correct, there is always the chance that a name, place, or date listed on a record is not quite exactly right, sometimes due to misspellings. Ask yourself how it would change your research if one fact suddenly was not true?

Have patience, many genealogical brick walls cannot be solved instantly, even with access to every database known to man. Some families are difficult to research and require exhaustive searches of all available records and a detailed analysis of those materials. That takes time. Some of us have been
working on the same problem for years. It can be frustrating but fulfilling when the answer finally arrives.

Do not concentrate only on your direct lineage, instead research the the extended family information. Look for the siblings, cousins, and in-laws of your ancestor may give enough clues to extend your direct family line into earlier generations.

Keep trying especially when new databases become available, look up what you might find on that ancestor that was never checked in the new databases.

Investigate occupations, is there evidence of that occupation in census or probate records? Would that occupation have made it relatively easy for your ancestor to move from one place to another? could the ancestor moved further west in America seeking new job opportunities? Even businesses owners saw a chance to big money with new settlers, like during the California Gold Strike of 1849, so many store owners set up shop in California.

It does take work and trying different methods to eventually break through that brick wall and learn more about an ancestor.

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‘Fresh Eyes’

Getting Around that Brick Wall

Think Outside the Box

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