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What is a Brick Wall?

By Jan Edwards Definition of a brick wall: If you hit a brick wall or come up against a brick wall, you are unable to or make progress because something stops you. What are some things that stop you? Many times a brick wall is caused by the methods we use in research. We don’t begin with ourselves and work back, documenting and sourcing each and every person and finding as much as we can on each. Many times a brick wall is caused by the methods others research (too fast, too little proof and very little sourcing). A lot of he said she said! Many times a brick wall is caused by tree grabbing: finding a tree with common information, going back as far on their tree and “claiming” their brick w

Why Start Over?

By Jan Edwards When most of us began doing family history times were way different. We did not have access to online anything. Online wasn’t even a term we knew. Many spent hours and hours in courthouse records and archives. Many went to Salt Lake City, Utah and spent days and days just looking at census films. There was even an area that just housed the census film at the library. (Which because the census are all online now, that space is now a classroom!) We had oral records. We constantly interviewed the living taking their word as “knowledge.” There was a “genealogy code.” Always be polite, and always send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to anyone you requested information from which

I Love a True Story, Real Photos, and Trees with Sources

By Jan Edwards I love a story that is true, a photo if it’s really them and a tree that has sources and great documentation. I’m going to get myself in trouble today with my thoughts and feelings about today’s genealogy methods, but since it’s my blog post, and I am free to be and write what I want, I’m going to write it anyway. I work in a family history center on Wednesday nights. Each Wednesday it’s basically the same thing. People come in, sit down, log in, click on a name and are excited “they” just took their lines back to Jesus, or Adam, Noah, or King George and Princess Diana. One little click and boom! They have “done” their genealogy. The weird part to me is they believe that. Wit

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