How to Beat Brick Walls With “Cluster Genealogy”

How to Beat Brick Walls With “Cluster Genealogy”

Say you needed someone, such as a friend or coworker, and you couldn't find the person. What would you do? Probably start calling his or her family, friends, neighbors, anyone you could think of. Now what if you can't find great-grandma or great-great-grandpa? Follow the same kind of approach: Check...

Say you needed someone, such as a friend or coworker, and you couldn’t find the person. What would you do? Probably start calling his or her family, friends, neighbors, anyone you could think of.

Now what if you can’t find great-grandma or great-great-grandpa? Follow the same kind of approach: Check with your ancestor’s FAN club—that is, the friends, associates and neighbors with whom he or she interacted.

This classic brick wall-busting strategy—also called “cluster” or “collateral” research—is easier said than done. How do you find out who your ancestor’s FANs were, and how do you “talk” to them to find out what they can tell you about your family?

Our July 12 webinar, Using Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls, will answer these questions for you, showing you:

  • how cluster genealogy can solve your research brick walls
  • how to identify the people in your ancestor’s network
  • how to research your ancestor’s FANs, even if they’re not related to you
  • how to piece together cluster and collateral evidence
  • the best websites and offline resources for doing cluster and collateral genealogy research

Here are the webinar details:

  • Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific)
  • presented by Thomas MacEntee
  • 60 minutes
  • Participants receive copies of the presentation slides, access to the recorded webinar to view again, and a bonus download of Family Tree Magazine‘s Cluster Genealogy Guide.

    Sign up now to get our early bird registration special! Learn more in Family Tree Shop.

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    1. Looks interesting. The name cluster is relatively new to me and doesn’t seem to be used much in the UK if at all. I understand the concept though and can vouch that it is an essential process for finding ‘lost’ ancestors.