Back in the Saddle Again


Flying high above the other researchers searching records

I am a complete geek for museums. I lose myself in the displays and galleries imagining the lives that were lived by people and animals of the past.  It’s not such a great leap to understand why genealogy hooked me.  Trees and documents are just the pipelines to these well-organized displays. I am the curator charged with organizing the information.

In the midst of research like most it is easy to become overwhelmed with the trails that I have been following.  I have been so long under water that emerging feels as if I am bursting into daylight disoriented. I don’t know which end is up or some times what exactly I already have in my notes.

Brick walls are the nemesis of all genealogical researchers.  If research goes on long enough every genealogist will have at least one if not multiple.

What are some strategies to break brick walls?

  • Use whole census records
  • Use alternate spellings
  • Look at know migration routes
  • Use all forms of DNA-atDNA, YDNA, and MtDNA- Look for groupings in each for the family member you are researching
  • Join a One Name Project
  • Organization from known facts to speculation-research until you can turn the speculation to fact or disprove it

These are just a few of the techniques that can be used to break brick walls.  Over the next few weeks I will go into depth on each of these points and how I have used them.


Sloth Selfie in North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum