I am needing tips/tricks on breaking through brick walls. Also, is there anyone out there who helps with brick walls?
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
The problem lies with those brick walls not always being built the same or providing the same barrier!
Understandably, after your past experiences, you are reluctant to reference actual IDs to illustrate specific problems, but detailing these in general terms will be necessary in order for you to be provided with appropriate help.
I have found multiple reasons in not being able to proceed any further (at least temporarily) with my searches on different families. Maybe there is a gap in the registers for a particular time period - in England, there are often missing records for the whole of the 1650s, for example, or just an odd part of a register might have been destroyed. For later time periods, I have found many families emigrated. Fortunately, FamilySearch has some good sets of immigration records, but these often relate to the US or Canada. For Australia, the states of New South Wales and Victoria have their own websites containing indexed BMD records, from which I have discovered a number of missing, distant relatives.
I am just giving these examples to illustrate the various problems you can (and will) eventually encounter in searches for an elusive ancestor, or missing document. However, in a few cases I have never been able to work out where the family moved to. There they are in different census records then, suddenly, nothing. A complete blank in finding further records for any members of a whole family. Occasionally, this is just the unfortunate case.
So, please carry on in asking questions on the different scenarios you encounter, and individuals using this forum should be able to advise in most cases. No - specific names / IDs are not always necessary because, chances are, someone else will have encountered the self-same problem and have just the advice you need.2
We at Family Search help individually when you send an email to us. Just click on the button to the right of you called 'contact us'. Pick the area you live in and tell us the information needed to help you with your research, and what your brick wall is. You can also book a free callback for 20 minutes. You can do this by scrolling down the contact us page and going into the in person help button.0
Brick walls can be broken in various ways but, as Paul says, sometimes it is just not possible. The single best way I have found to break walls in recent times is DNA. I have broken about 10 walls this way in the last couple of years including two that I had been stuck on for over 30 years.
Based on English records, a common scenario is that an ancestor was christened in a particular parish. You find the marriage of the parents in the same parish or one very close. You look for christening records of the parents. Perhaps you find one in the area but you cannot immediately find the other. You then find a plausible candidate (right name and right age) but coming from a parish say 15 miles away. Is it the right one? Some people would say yes and move on. I am more sceptical. 15 miles is a long way in most parts of England. There can be a lot of parishes within that radius. Then you find a DNA match to someone descended from a sibling of the person in that distant parish. Suddenly the chances of the person being your ancestor have jumped from, perhaps, 50% up to, perhaps, 95% (there is always the risk that the DNA match has got their tree wrong!).
That is not the only situation where DNA has helped but has been the most common in my research.0
@Graham Buckell Thanks! I will probably post another separate post with one of my brick walls.0
I am to the point I am ready to collaborate. Someone might see something I don’t. I will probably do a separate brick wall post.0
@PMLynch Can you send me a link??0