Author Topic: Your brick wall and how you solved it!  (Read 1489 times)

Offline Erin2012

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Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« on: Tuesday 02 January 18 21:13 GMT (UK) »
I would love to hear some inspirational tales of brick walls and how you found your answers.... Maybe we can all learn from your experience!
Keane (Westmeath)
Ledwith (Longford/Westmeath)
Gray (Sligo)
Eustace (Louth)
Frost (Suffolk)
Farrar (Yorkshire)
La Favor/Lefebvre (Quebec)
Mineard/Maynard/Mainard/ Maynord (Wiltshire/Monmouthshire)

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Offline eadaoin

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 02 January 18 22:41 GMT (UK) »
luck? serendipity? nit-picking?

(not much help, I'm afraid - all brick-walls are different)
Begg - Dublin, Limerick, Cardiff
Brady - Dublin
Breslin - Wexford, Dublin
Byrne - Wicklow
O'Hara - Wexford, Kingstown
McLoghlin - Roscommon
Lawlor - Meath, Dublin
Lynam - Meath and Renovo, Pennsylvania
Everard - Meath
Fagan - Dublin
Meyler/Myler - Wicklow
Gray - Derry, Waterford
Kavanagh - Limerick

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Offline BenRalph

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 02 January 18 23:44 GMT (UK) »
Mine was about six years of staring at someone born in 1852 with no parents that I could trace. And help from a relative in Australia.

Another was figuring out that there were two Moses Ralphs born in the 1830s, one in Suffolk and one in Sussex. At the time we had one record of a Walter with a parent Moses on a 1903 marriage certificate and a 1901 census that says Walter was a German subject, we realised that the one is Sussex never went to Germany and the Moses in Suffolk disappeared in 1860s. From there we found many other documents in Germany and tracing them back to Suffolk.

Yes, a lot of it is luck.

Offline mirl

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 02 January 18 23:49 GMT (UK) »
Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box.

I had a great great grand aunt who was a professional musician and she had married another.  I had her and her husband in 1861, 1871 and 1901 but couldn't find another BMD or census reference until they both died in 1902.

On a whim one day I put her name into a general google search and her name popped up on the Trove website for old Australian newspapers.  After clicking on the site and doing a better search, there were over 1500 references for her and I was able to trace her and her husbands careers both backwards and forwards.

I also did this with her father who was a congregational minister and found his career too.
Richardson, Sherman, Gillam, Hitchcock, Neighbour, Groom, Walton, Strange, Littleford, Brown, Guy, Abbs, Tasker, Bartlett, Farey, Etteridge

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Online Nanna52

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 02:07 GMT (UK) »
I agree mirl the papers can be invaluable.  With help from kind Rootschatters I managed to find my cousins stage name.  This led me to tracing his career.  The best was when I found an interview with him detailing his ordeal as a POW in WW1.  I had found out he had served and been captured through other newspaper reports, but this told me everything and as he hadn't turned up on the Red Cross lists it filled in a lot of blanks.
James -Victoria, Australia originally from Keynsham, Somerset.
Heale/Hale - Keynsham, Somerset
Vincent - Illogan/Redruth, Cornwall.  Moved to Sculcoates, Yorkshire; Grass Valley, California; Timaru, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.
Williams somewhere in Wales - he kept moving
Ellis - Anglesey

Offline Jang

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 02:51 GMT (UK) »
I solved my most recent brick wall by entering a birthdate in the 1939 register. Up popped someone in Newcastle on Tyne who I'd been searching for in Scotland for years.

I agree with Mirl - Trove (Australian Newspapers) and Google have yielded unexpected results, simply by searching by name. One example was trying to find the birth of Mary Ann Gorring. I entered the name of the witnesses to her marriage in Trove and up popped her mother who had remarried. It opened up a whole new family branch - her mother married 4 times! And I found out she was Mary Ann Godding not Gorring.

But it's hard to beat serendipity. My gggrandfather arrived in Melbourne Vic in 1841, and wanting to know more, I went to the library to borrow a book about what life was like then. It wasn't available so I borrowed one by the same author which described various voyages to Australia. Imagine my surprise when my gggrandfather's name leapt off the page, with a detailed description of journey and how the ship almost ran aground on arrival.   

And of course, there are all the wonderful helpful Rootschatters :-)
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Offline clairec666

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 15:11 GMT (UK) »
Various methods!

Google. If you're searching for someone with a rare-ish name, you might find a link to someone else's research - obviously you need to back up their findings, but maybe they've spotted something you haven't.

Newspaper archives.

Use the global search forms at Ancestry and Findmypast. I usually search each record set individually, but maybe there's a record set you haven't discovered yet. Particularly good for people who move abroad.

FreeREG. I often neglect it because it's not very complete, but you might strike gold.

Rootschat. Very knowledgeable people!

Persistance. I nearly gave up on finding a death for a William Smith, but by trawling through the death records, and matching them with electoral rolls, cemetery records and the probate calendar, was able to order the right death certificate.
ESSEX - Albrorough, Cant, Dash, Deacon, Fincham, Luckin, Moul, Potter, Richmond, Ruse, Tansley, Turrill, Whiting, Wisby
SUFFOLK - Bell, Godden, Good
SHROPSHIRE - Breakwell, Brick, Edwards
STAFFORDSHIRE - Male, Ryder, Salter, Webb, Yates
WORCS - Frazer, Nind, Pardoe, Woodward
NORTHANTS - Sharp, Brawn, Randall
CAMBS/HUNTS - Benton, Glithro, Hayes, Robinett, Speechley, Watts, Whitehead
KENT - Cullen, Hopkins, Pilcher
SOMERSET - Hodges, Weston
WILTS - Dash
GLOUCS - Clouter, Seager

Offline coombs

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 15:34 GMT (UK) »
One tip is if you do come across a rare-ish name, type in any instances (outside the direct ancestor) of that name through the FindMyPast, Ancestry search engines, even use wildcards or what have you. They may be relatives of theirs. For instance a FindMyPast search 1750 with 40 years either side.

While you must never rely wholly on this, one trick is if you come across an ancestor whose parents you cannot find the marriage for, but you have the fathers baptism and it was the same parish all along, then try any baptisms for the mothers first name 15-30 years before the birth of their first known child. These could be candidates for the mother. For instance a James Bracegirdle born 1750 to Thomas and Margaret Bracegirdle in a rural parish. Their eldest child was born in 1742. You cannot find a marriage of Thomas to Margaret (even with variants) then you could look at all the Margaret's born in the same parish 1710-1730, and list their surnames. This can be food for thought.
Researching:

LONDON, Coombs, Roberts, Auber, Helsdon, Fradine, Morin, Goodacre
DORSET Coombs, Munday
NORFOLK Helsdon, Riches, Harbord, Palding
KENT Roberts, Goodacre
SUSSEX Walder, Boniface, Dinnage, Standen, Lee, Botten, Wickham, Jupp
SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
DURHAM Stewart, Musgrave, Wilson, Forster
SCOTLAND Stewart in Selkirk
USA Musgrave, Saix
ESSEX Cornwell, Stock, Quilter, Lawrence, Whale, Clift
OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain

Offline River Tyne Lass

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 16:17 GMT (UK) »
I was trying to find out what happened to a bloodline ancestor who disappeared in the early 1900s.  I won't say too much as it is quite a personal story.

I put out an appeal on-line. (This was before I was on RootsChat.)  A close relative (another descendant) of this missing ancestor of mine got in touch.  I was literally on cloud nine !!  They were wonderful in giving me photos and filling me in on the missing part of the story.  I was also able to help this other person.  It turned out that our mutual ancestor/relative had died a year before I was born.
Last year this kind person who answered my appeal and I were able to meet at last after three years of on-going correspondence.  I will be forever grateful to this person for helping me to get my brick wall knocked down big time.  It was just like Long Lost Family but without the camera!  :) :) :)
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner