Out on a Limb: Stuck on You

Out on a Limb: Stuck on You

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...

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.”

Everyone has such a dead end — and based on the feedback we get from readers, everyone’s eager for advice to help conquer it. In keeping with our how-to mission, we regularly come to your rescue with expert guidance in feature articles and our Now What? Q&As.

Now we’re answering the call again with a new column called — you guessed it-Brick Wall Busters. In every other issue, contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor, whom you already know as Family Tree Magazine‘s Photo Detective, will apply her sleuthing skills to your real-life research roadblocks. But these aren’t your typical case studies: We’re kicking the how-to quotient up a notch by focusing less on summary and more on solutions. Each column will include a how-to plan for tackling the problem at hand, so you can easily see how to apply Maureen’s recommendations to your own research conundrums.

Even better, this is your chance to get personalized advice from a professional genealogist. So stop scratching your head and submit your stumper on our Brick Walls Forum at <forum.familytreemagazine.com/forum> — no jargon required. You might get an assist from Maureen, or from your fellow Family Tree Magazine readers.
 
From the May 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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