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How to Break through a Genealogy Brick Wall (or Just Avoid Them Altogether)


          Work from the known to the unknown, i.e. don’t skip generations. Preferably start with yourself and meticulously work back one generation at a time. Otherwise start with a point that you are confident of the accuracy and work back one generation at a time. As you finish each generation, make additions and corrections to Family Tree. Merge duplicates as you go. Attach records you find in your research to the appropriate person on Family Tree. By looking at each piece of information on Family Tree and critically reviewing your own conclusions, you will learn a lot.


          Back Up/Go Forward at least 20 years from when you know your family was in a particular location.


          Research the Surname, not just the person you think is an ancestor. You will find things you would otherwise miss.


          Don’t rely solely on indexed online records. Many records are not indexed. Some are poorly indexed. You should check the actual indexes in indexed record books rather than rely on an online compilation. Sometimes you have to read page by page. If a census record is missing read the census line by line.


          Research adjacent counties. When applicable check parent counties and child counties during periods of county formations.


          Search all published records for the location and time period you are checking


          Search all indexed/quasi indexed records


          Start with Land Grants, Deeds, Tax Digests, Census, Marriages, Wills, Estate Records other than Wills, Estate Files, Court Records, Chancery Cases. The records bolded are major brick wall busters/avoiders.


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