Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Brick Wall Strategy - Be a Joiner

I just got back from my local genealogy club meeting. Many times members skip the summer meetings – BIG MISTAKE. Our presenters today were excellent and, although attendance was not as robust as during the winter, we had over twenty people there.

One presenter talked about how online message boards can help break through brick walls. He suggested some specific things to make sure you include in any message board request. Message boards are Internet “information wanted” postings. They are often arranged by surname or location. Some common message board or group locations are at,,,, and
Be clear about what you are searching for. Include as much information as you already have – full names, parents’ names, town of origin, maybe even towns in the area, county, state, country, place of birth, occupation, timeframe, etc. You may not have all of this information. That’s probably why you are using the message board to begin with. Give the other message board users a chance to help, though. Don’t just ask for information on the Beach family from Connecticut. Offer something to those that might help but don’t give away all your information without some contact.
A better request would be: "Does anyone have more information on the parents of Charles E Beach, born New York City, 1830, died 1889 Brooklyn, New York; married Margaret Matilda Duryea in Boston, Mass; second marriage for both; his parents are from Connecticut. I have the marriage certificate of Charles and Margaret. They had three children, James, Sterling, and Otis."

So, be a joiner. Find a local genealogy or family history group and participate! Someone there may have just the hint you need to break through a brick wall. By the way – Charles E. Beach is my current brick wall. Any help would be appreciated.

Happy Hunting.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the plug for our local genealogy societies. We need more people spreading the word.