2015 Brick Walls Forum

Several interesting Brick Walls were discussed. The group was reminded of the following basic rules of genealogical research:

1. Start with the censuses, going backward. Study each one for a column (such as owned home--leads to deeds; how many years married, leads to marriage record; veteran, etc. Each lead must be pursued before going back another decade.
Some of the most popular online sites for finding those original records are:

rootsweb.org (documented trees on their trees section)
genweb: just google genweb and your state or county. LOADS of original records and indexes on those sites.
Google.com Use all possible name possibilities, in quotes

2. Disregard variant spellings. Spelling was phonetic. Please review our TIPS page if any of this is new to you.

3. Rememer, you don't even need a name to search on Ancestry. Other relevant facts, such as birth date* and place, year of immigration, or a keyword will often     suffice and get past the mis-indexed surnames. *always add 1-2 years estimate

4. If you still can't find them in the census, try browse. Is usually on the right hand side of the Ancestry screen. Search by township or E.D. Check other censuses to get the E.D.

5. Look for a specific record--don't do broad searches or use Ancestry trees.

6. To find the place of marriage, if the family moved around, look at where the eldest child was born.

7. A good resource is Meyer's Gazette for German records.

8. Quaker records can be found at Haverford College and Swarthmore College. They will even tell you when and where they moved.

9. For an EVERY NAME index to the Philadelphia Bulletin, go to Temple Library Archives. Only 2 blocks off the train stop.

10. Another 1812 resource is "Bounty Lands" by Christine Rose, on National Archives site and Fold3.com

11. Remember you have to KNOW the names in your tree to make use of your DNA. Thut 5-10 there are three kinds: male line--Y, female--Mtdna, and autosomal, which includes everyone for about 5-6 generations. Have the most expensive one you can afford to insure good results.

12. The Rare Books collection at the Philadelphia Free Library includes a large collection of Fracture books.

13. Remember to use the familysearch.org records which have not yet been digitized. They have records from all over the world. Civil, church, and much, much more and are still on microfilm and fiche. they can be ordered and viewed at your nearest Family History Center. (Broomall for us).

14. If all this fails, either put that line away for a while or start over from the beginning and redo every search you've done. Fresh eyes.