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Getting past brick walls in your genealogy (short version)


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Getting past brick walls in your genealogy (short version)

  1. 1. Climbing Genealogical Brick Walls RRLC Pizza and Stump the Genealogy Expert
  2. 2. Be thorough! • Be prepared to search ALL the records of your ancestor, ALL his kin and associates, during ALL periods of their lives, in ALL the jurisdictions where they lived, and ALL possible repositories.
  3. 3. • Review what you already have - see if what you have discovered already answers questions now that you have more information • Go back to the original sources - did you copy ALL information from a source or only partial data?
  4. 4. • Broaden your search - check collateral relatives, neighbors. It’s called cluster genealogy, and sometimes you see patterns for more than one person that help with an individual of interest.
  5. 5. • Question and verify - many sources contain transcription errors. • Check name variations - not only can these occur but sometimes a T is read or put for a G or J. Really!
  6. 6. • Learn your boundaries - maps are important when seeing where information is recorded. Sometimes it is legal to record information outside of the county where it occurred. • Ask for help - many ways to do that.
  7. 7. Names? • Maiden and middle names - what do people use at various points in their lives? • Where to find these? SSDI applications, wedding records, court records, probate records, obituaries.
  8. 8. • More on names: aliases, using maternal names, shortened or translated names, ones beginning with a vowel. • Area searches: search an entire smaller town, remember that addresses changes as well as street names. • Jurisdictions change: e.g.. Rochester records might be in Canandaigua or Batavia.
  9. 9. • Look in school and poorhouse records. • Check old phone books and city directories, church records (remembering that congregations could divide), and election enrollment records.
  10. 10. Immigration • Border crossings and immigration - before 1924, the US-Canadian border did not have formal guards. • Did the entire family come over, or only smaller children? • Yugo-NY- CT-Yugo-Canada (Montreal and Ontario)-MI.
  11. 11. • Death records - obits, funeral home records funeral sign-in books, who is buried nearby on a cemetery (married s having adjoining plots?) • Widows do remarry • Try searching parents • Adoption vs. abandonment: different kinds of records
  12. 12. Remember that you are dealing with various times…. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  13. 13. • Create a timeline to avoid inconsistencies. • See if retirement homes or other institutions interviewed a resident to find someone to pay for their care.
  14. 14. Sources for elaboration • • • ng_Tough_Research_Problems %E2%80%94Overcoming_Brick_Walls