AncestorNews: That *#(@) Brick Wall!

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

I’m frustrated! No matter where I look, I CANNOT trace my Hendrickson line past a fellow named Separate Hendrickson, whose son, William, was born in Mercer County, Ky., in 1749. My aunt Helen tells me the Hendricksons must have been horse thieves because they’re so darned hard to track down!

Part of the problem may be the fact that some members of the family seemed to drop the “son” from the name at will. Whatever the case, I was getting pretty discouraged. However, while researching online, I found a wonderful site called Sources of Genealogical Information at

The site contains a list compiled by Joanne (Todd) Rabun of KindredKeepsakes, suggesting different types of records to search when you’ve hit a dead end. I was impressed. There were records there I had never even thought of, including different types of church and legal records. True, these records may come up dry, but at least I can expand my search.

Another feature of this site is a column that lists various types of records to look for, depending on the type of information you want. For example, if you’re looking for a maiden name, you should check vital records, church records, newspapers, bible records, military records, cemeteries, probate records and obituaries.

Have you cracked a brick wall? If you have, write and tell me how you did it.

Here are a few other suggestions for brick wall busting:

When Your Family History Hits the Wall

Problem Solving for Genealogists

Brick Walls and How to Get Through Them

Real Research Breakthroughs via the Internet