Category Archives: brick wall

Your “Brick Wall” Ancestor

We all have one of these “brick wall” ancestors. If they realized how much time we’ve spent combing through records, wracking our brain and dreaming about resolution, they’d probably tell us to get a life. That doesn’t stop the obsessing.

So what can help overcome this type of obstacle in your research? I previously had a long list of ancestors whose lineage I had labeled as impenetrable. However, after discovering new primary sources or taking advantage of previously unavailable technologies as they arose – they have been virtually obliterated into tiny specs. A brick wall in a sense is strong due to it’s many layers of bricks and mortar. However, remove a few bricks and you can destabilize it quickly.

Do you have a brick wall ancestor that eludes you? How many years have you spent tracking them down? What methods have you employed? Have you ever let a new set of eyes tackle the seemingly impossible?