Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CVGS Fall Seminar Summary: Donna Bradley – “Ways of Getting Over, Around, or Under Your Brick Walls”

The Keynote Address at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Fall Seminar on 24 September was by Donna Bradley, titled “Ways of Getting Over, Around, or Under Your Brick Walls.”

In her 30 minute lecture, Donna noted that "Everybody has brick walls;" "Genealogy is the world’s greatest treasure hunt. No one is going to hand you a map;" "You can’t hide who you are, neither could your ancestors;" "The key for what you’re looking for is in history;" and "Nothing takes more time than genealogy."

She noted that the "usual resources" found by researchers are – home papers/photos, family papers, census records, Internet searches, county vital records (in California since 1905), etc.  There are other records available, but they are harder to find. 

Information from one record triggers clues and hints and leads to more information.  Consulting with friends, relatives, colleagues works well – two brains are better than one.  There are people out there that know something about your family, you just need to find them!  Nobody will search for your people better than you will.

Donna suggested looking for records of:

*  Plaintiffs and defendants in court cases
*  Books, magazines and publications
*  Church records – every religion has records
*  Voters lists
*  Tax lists
*  BLM land patents 
*  School records sometime have family information; Alumni books often have information
*  State and National Archives
*  Historical and genealogical societies and museums

This was a good basic summary of how to try to break down your brick wall research problems. 

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