Get Beyond Basic Church Records?

Are the only records you use from a local church the records of pastoral acts? If your ancestor was a member of an immigrant church do you know where most of those immigrants came from? If your ancestor was a member of a “frontier” church, what do you know about the other members and what they had in common besides their religious affiliation?

Often times church or synagogue attendees have more in common than a denomination.

Use A Chronology as a Biographical Starting Point

If you are needing something to provide you with some framework for writing a biography of your ancestor, consider using her chronology of personal life events. It may not be the most “literary” approach, but it will get you started.

And sometimes getting started is half the battle.

And writing a biography of an ancestor (with citations included) may be a more manageable task than a complete five generation genealogy.

Can Your Write On Your Brick Wall?

An excellent problem-solving technique is to write up your “problem” as if you were explaining it to someone totally unfamiliar with the time period, the family, and the location. Organizing your thoughts and your current research for someone else to read and to follow may be give you additional insight into where you appear to be stumbling.

Gaps are easier to notice when we try and clearly explain our problem completely to someone else.

You may be able to “write over” your brick wall!