101 Brick Wall Busters

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A few months back I took a wonderful course through Family Tree University, called 101 Brick Wall Busters. It is something that happens when researching our family. Records are lost, destroyed in fires, or never even existed. Record keeping wasn’t as wide spread in the early days of our Nation, many areas never kept records until the past century, less in some areas.

In the age of Technology and instant information, it is shocking to many that there isn’t a data base somewhere with every article of information on our ancestors. The LDS Church has done a wonderful job of gathering many records, but there are still gaps in the research.

In the course 101 Brick Wall Busters it discusses several ways to find this information or at least find information that can lead you in the right direction.
I will be touching on a few points each post.

1. You have to access the problem, what records do you have, what is it that you are trying to find out. Birthplace? Maybe the Date of Birth was left off or the common brick wall of a mothers lineage. For some reason the woman’s line is always incomplete.

Ask family first, see if a relative ended up with a box of photographs, documents, letters between family, or land deeds. Recently while researching the death of my Grandma’s little brother, I couldn’t find any state records for 1929 of his death. My Great Grandma had given a trunk of paperwork, birth records, love letters between her and Great Grandpa to my Grandma’s sister and now her Daughter has all the information. It was a real break through on proving his death and burial area. The photograph we believed was Grandma with her father and brother standing by a grave was not the grave of her brother, but her Grandfather who passed away in 1926.

2. Don’t skip any steps, check all records here in the US before venturing overseas. If there are not State or County records, see if the papers of the time have any articles on your ancestors. I recently found a wonderful article written by the Senior Center that my Grandma was active in, honoring her crafts and involvement at the Center. County Fairs, Senior Centers, newspapers are a few places you can look for more information.

3. Create a time line of their life. Do you know when they lived, who else in your family was around during that time. My Aunt Lovella was my Grandma’s Mother’s youngest sister of seven children. I always referred to her as Aunt, when really she was my Great Great Aunt. Knowing the time line of the family helped when filling out the lineage chart. Other things to know is what sort of things were going on in the world during the time of their life. Was it during War time, there are a lot of War records that can help bridge the gaps.

 Gip and Nancy Akin, with their children.


  1. I can't wait to explore your blog more. I am working on my genealogy slowly. I am now following you from MBC.

  2. smallangels says

    Thank you for the follow. If there is any point or area of Genealogy you are researching, let me know and I can post it.

    I will follow your blog.

  3. Easy-2-Save says

    What a great Blog you have! We are researching our family and it does take some time and work. I am a new follower from MBC please come visit my blog if you like free samples etc. 🙂

    • Oh wow!! Thank you so much. I HATE such sites as well, that claim to be free and then you have to pay to look at the documents, even igarmare and death certificates!!! Thanks again and I can’t wait to get started!!!

  4. Frugal in WV says

    Love the pics! My family tree is a mess, both sides are from overseas and there are lots of marriages with no records etc. I think your blog is great, my mother-in-law has traced my husbands family back and it's really interesting! New follower from MBC, look forward to your future posts.


  5. smallangels says

    Thank you Easy to share and Frugal in WV. I will follow both your blogs 🙂

  6. Great post! My goal is to take over my grandmother's research of our family so this helps. Following you from MBC. Would love a visit and a follow back on my blog: http://blog.writerslairbooks.com. We are having a fantastic iPad 2 giveaway and a Kindle 3G giveaway so I hope you will enter if you haven’t already! Thanks! Nice to meet you.

  7. smallangels says

    Thank you. I took over all my Grandma's research and information her and my Aunt had gathered through the years when she passed. I thought that most was complete until I started verifying the information. Record keeping is so important.

    Thank you for the follow and I will return the favor.

  8. Hello!! I found your blog on MBC and I'm now your follower. When I seen you said scrapping and Genealogy I new I needed to come and visit. I'm glad your finding things. No one in my family kept any records on my side of the family and my dad is also adopted. I am having such a hard time to find anything. This 101 Brick Wall was it a class or a book that you read. I would love to find good books to help me

  9. smallangels says

    Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for following. Adoption records can be difficult to find. I know where my Great Great Grandfather was at the turn of the Century after his and his sister's parents had passed away. However the Orphanage has strict rules and guidelines for retrieving those records.

    This was both a class and book you can buy through Family Tree University. Here is the link to the book that is on sale right now. It comes with another book called the Problem Solver

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