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Hit a Brick Wall? Go back and re-read everything.

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

You can go back and read blogs I've written on brick walls by using the menu on the blog page and selecting "More" to see other topics. Probably the most frequent comment I get is "I've looked everywhere and there is no information." I know this sounds ridiculous, but the possibility exists that you already have the information and you didn't recognize it at the time. You are a better researcher today that you were last year, or in my case twenty years ago.

Here's how I began my research into Bridget King this week. I started with my genealogy database and selected a "person sheet" report that listed what I knew (and had put into the database) about Bridget as a word processing document. It included a timeline and research notes (which were mostly done in the 1990s). I also looked at what I had written about the King family, including a blog from 2012.

There was quite a bit missing from the report. I had other records including a 1901 Census in Ireland, her marriage record to Patrick Moughty, and a number of school records I had found at PRONI in 2018. The final school record in 1903 contained the information "gone to America." I added those into my database and the report.

I next went to my online Ancestry tree. Over the years, I've frequently reacted to "hints" adding information quickly to my online tree without adding the information to my genealogy database...things are definitely out of sync! From there, I added in the various census and directory records to my new working person sheet as well as to my database. At the same time I downloaded the images to add to my files. I've had instances where image have disappeared from the online databases (usually because of licensing) so it's important to make sure you have copies. As you can see, I was able to add quite a bit of additional information into the timeline.

Finally, I pulled out the hard copy file (#8/9). I have scanned most of the documents, but I did come across some handwritten letters I had forgotten about. One was written in 1927 and some others in the 1960s. There was also a folder full of printouts and copies from microfilm of records that are now online (with much improved quality). Over the next week I'll go through the file and make sure I have digital copies of those records.

So this week has been mostly organizing the files on Bridget and her husband, Patrick Moughty. Because of my shoulder surgery I haven't been able to spend long periods of time working, but hopefully over the next few weeks I can increase the time. The most helpful part of this process is the timeline I've created along with my research notes. I'll be analyzing this to see if there are missing records (the biggest right now is her arrival in the US). I'll also be looking at conflicting information to make sure I can resolve any issues.

Happy Hunting!

Check out the Genealogy Guys Blog for Drew's Organizing posts...a new one each day!

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