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01 November 2014

What Record Are You Avoiding?

Is there a record type or source you avoid using because you have difficulty using it or understanding it? Doing so can easily sell your research short and cause you to overlook solutions to those brick walls.Sometimes the reasons brick walls exist is because everyone else has stuck with the "easy" approach too.


  1. Sometimes I avoid records that have no index. A wealth of information can be hidden there, but there doesn't seem to be enough time to read page by page through these records.

    1. I agree that even some of the FamilySearch.org files have no indexes. That is just too time consuming to page through court records that are faded, hard to read and unindexed. Most of those are over 300 pages long :(

  2. I don't think that I am deliberately avoiding certain types of records, but I use a wheelchair & don't drive, so I rely on others for transportation. Therefore, I can't easily just "jump in the car" & get to my local library, much less travel long distances to get to counties where my great-grandparents (or more distant ancestors) lived to personally research records which may not be available online. Can anyone give me some suggestions for dealing with roadblocks like this? I already try to make use of online message boards for sharing information & questions. Thanks!

  3. I contact local historical or genealogical societies and libraries. I also use FamilySearch where possible in addition to occasionally using fee-based sites. There are also some helpful groups on Facebook where genealogical queries and questions can be posted--I've used one of the translation pages myself.

    Another good idea is to start a blog about your research. That's another great way to connect with other potential relatives.

  4. Some of the great records that seem to be avoided involve land and money - deeds, and tax records are big ones. Those can hold really important information, especially if you're dealing with early U.S. areas that kept few vital/church records.