Week 34: Genealogy Challenges.
Which genealogy challenge has given you the best sense of accomplishment? What was the research problem you had to hurdle? What steps did you take that led to success? Do you have any words of encouragement for others who are facing their own genealogy challenges?
Oh, I'm late this week! But it is because I couldn't think of a single challenge. Sometimes very small successes - that one single record - brings on the genealogy happy dance. I've been extremely fortunate that there have been many other researchers of most of the family lines of both me and my husband's ancestry and I've been able to further expand on that work. I've found many online friends (even distant cousins) and we've been able to collaborate and piece together our families, correct old research errors, and find previously unseen records.
I do still have those brick walls I'd like to climb over, but I can say that I have knocked down a few and I'm happy to say that I have actually knocked down a wall or two for other people researching their families when they discovered my website.
My words of encouragement would be to persevere - sometimes you might have to lay your research aside for awhile and take another look later. But don't give up. Be patient. You will sometimes have to dig through a lot of courthouse records and look at many rolls of microfilm. Really, folks, it isn't all on the Internet. I have been absolutely amazed at times when I found that record that had been there all along and it was very obvious that other researchers had not found it ...because there was the proof in black and white, just waiting to be found.
Many of my problems have been solved when I was willing to take a broader look at an ancestor - that FAN stuff. Look at the other Family members, the Associates, the Neighbors for clues.
Just one word of warning. It can be very exciting to find a new connection, but please be sure it is the correct connection. Be sure that really is your family!