Out on a Limb: Stuck on You
5/1/2007

Every hobby has insider lingo. When I got involved in family history, it took me only about five minutes to figure out the biggest buzzword in the genealogical lexicon: brick wall.

Throughout the community — on message boards, in mailing lists, at society meetings and events — researchers repeat the refrain. “My great-grandmother's maiden name is my brick wall.” “I'm at a brick wall with my immigrant ancestors' birthplace.” “My mom was adopted, so I've already hit a brick wall with my maternal grandparents.”