Ancestral Journeys

Genealogical research and thoughts

Brick Walls

Posted by dwsuddarth on 21 September 2009

Anyone who has done genealogical research for any length of time has run into the dreaded brick wall.  If you haven’t, you will eventually.

My biggest and hardest brick wall concerns my 3rd great grandfather, Lewis Suddarth.  For years, I, and a lot of other genealogists, have been trying to find Lewis’ parents.  There are many theories out there.  But there is no evidence or a solid case built to support any of these theories.   I am convinced that there is no document out there which will directly state the relationship.  Therefore, a case will need to be made using many pieces of indirect evidence.  I have been ‘collecting’, if you will, indirect evidence for years.  Finding his parents involves researching collateral lines, neighbors and acquaintances.  I am going to attempt to present a case study of the research that I have done, along with my thinking behind the theories and conclusions I reach.  I hope to do two things with this.

First, I hope that by recording the research, methodology and thoughts, that I may finally be able to get around this wall.  Second, I hope that this can be used as a teaching and learning tool.  I hope that you may pick up some tips, ideas and methods that could help in your own research.  Additionally, I hope to learn from others of things I may have overlooked, clues I may not have seen and methodological processes that I am not using effectively, efficiently or at all.

Genealogy is a pursuit that is both solitary and shared.  I have spent many solitary hours looking through courthouse books, library and archive materials and anything else I can find which may yield that elusive clue.  However, I have also spent many hours sharing and collaborating with others.  I know we all have.

I welcome and encourage your comments and suggestions.

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