Brick Walls: Despise Them or Conquer Them

Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned genealogist, you have inevitably run into what is called a “brick wall”.

If you primarily use the internet for research, it’s easy to blame it on Google, but sometimes it has nothing to do with search techniques, but a mindset that may need some adjustment — or a change in strategy.

For instance, and I’ve encountered this myself, we rely too much on family “lore”. Let’s face it, some family stories were just that — stories (and perhaps outright stretches of the truth!). Too much reliance on those stories may have you “barking up the wrong tree.”. . .

Try a “Back Door” Approach

Awhile back I was researching family history for a friend who was adopted by his aunt and uncle. He knew his mother but didn’t know much about his father (but did know his name). After a brief conversation with his wife at church one Sunday, I set out on a quest to find out all I could about his father and his family.

What I found was a family tragedy related to a volatile time in United States history on the border between Texas and Mexico.  To read the rest of this lengthy and informative article, purchase a copy of the January issue of Digging History Magazine here ($1.99).

P.S.  This article in the magazine is followed by a short article on effective Internet search techniques.

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