Brick Wall Case Studies #1: Solving a Connecticut man's unknown parents using genealogical records and DNA Descendants had been trying to find out who Ruluf's parents were for more than 100 years unsuccessfully. Family records, Y-DNA testing, probate records, land deeds, and death records showed his likely parents.
Brick Wall Case Studies #2: Discovering the family of a woman living in Ohio from an unknown place in New Jersey Online trees listed who Catherine's family was, but there were no sources to prove it and no document located that named her parents. Census records, probate records, newspapers, and researching her siblings gave the answers.
Brick Wall Case Studies #3: Finding the birth place and parents of an Italian immigrant to the United States Leonard spelled his name several different ways and put his age and immigration differently on each census. His marriage record, passenger lists to the United States, and Italian civil registration records pointed to his parents.
Brick Wall Case Studies #4: Finding the birth place and parents of a Danish immigrant to the United States John's passenger list to America hadn't been located and he had a common name. John's tombstone, the Denmark Lutheran church records, and Danish emigration records led to his family in Denmark.
Brick Wall Case Studies #5: Locating the family of an Irish woman in Connecticut Catherine was from somewhere in Ireland and lived in Connecticut. A combination of information from her marriage record, death certificate, and Irish Catholic records pointed to her place of origin in Ireland and her parents.
Brick Wall Case Studies #6: Finding the family of a Massachusetts Revolutionary War soldier It was a family tradition that Benjamin Clark served in the Revolutionary War. Vital records, town histories, and Revolutionary War pension files proved the family tradition to be correct.
Brick Wall Case Studies #7: Verifying the family of a Pennsylvania man with a common name There were online trees that showed Jacob's family, but few original source documents to prove it and many men of the same name in the area. In addition, Jacob lived before there were vital records kept in Pennsylvania or census records that listed all family members by name. Land deeds, census records, court records, marriage documents, tax lists, and probate records gave proof of his family members.
Brick Wall Case Studies #8: Finding the birth place and family of a Swedish immigrant living in Massachusetts Frank lived in Massachusetts and records showed he was originally from Sweden, but the town of his birth hadn't been found. A World War I draft registration card, a marriage record, and Swedish household books led to finding his Swedish family.
Brick Wall Case Studies #9: Finding the burial location of an immigrant from Ireland who died in New York Thomas was a man from Ireland who died in New York. An offline newspaper obituary led to his burial location.
Brick Wall Case Studies #10: Finding the family of an Irish family with common names living in New York City Edmond and Mary were immigrants to the United States from Ireland, their ages listed differently in the records, and no document had been located that named their parents or their specific place of origin in Ireland. Newspapers, burial records, death certificates, and Irish civil registration records identified them in Ireland.
Brick Wall Case Studies #11: Locating a San Francisco man's parents when a fire destroyed many of the genealogical records Matthew lived in San Francisco for many years and the vital records burned in a fire in 1906. Census records, newspapers, city directories, cemetery records, and voting records identified his parents.
Brick Wall Case Studies #12: Finding the parents of a New Jersey man with no vital or census records that listed his parents William didn't have a birth or death record, and his marriage record didn't list his parents. Studying families wtih his surname in the area where he was born, census records, and probate records identified to which family he belonged.
Brick Wall Case Studies #13: Finding the family of a Pennsylvania woman with no birth record Mary Ann was born in Pennsylvania and her father's name was known but it was uncertain which family she belonged to. Her death certificate, studying families in the area, census records, and Civil War records showed who her parents were.
Brick Wall Case Studies #14: Locating a vital records certificate using the index information There was an index for a birth certificate found online. Using the GS film number from the index and the FamilySearch catalog helped us to locate the document itself.
Brick Wall Case Studies #15: Finding a family's address in St Louis A Laux family descendant wanted to know where the Laux family lived in St Louis in order go and visit the old family home. Census records and a death certificate led to their address.
Brick Wall Case Studies #16: Finding a woman's family who had moved from Ohio to Australia Annie's marriage record and death record listed her parents as unknown, and she didn't grow up with biological parents. A ministerial directory, death record, death notice in the newspaper, and census record gave more about who her biological parents were.
Brick Wall Case Studies #17: Identifying a Pennsylvania woman's family without a document that names her parents No document had been located that named Sarah's parents. Studying families in the area where she married, tax lists, probate records, land deeds, church records, and census records pointed to her likely family.
Brick Wall Case Studies #18: Finding the family of a man from South Carolina living in Georgia No documents listed the names of the parents of Jones F Miller. Census records, probate records, newspaper articles, land deeds, and a Confederate pension file identify the family to whom he belonged.
Brick Wall Case Studies #19: Finding a man and his parents when only his initials and last name were known G W Gray appeared in the census with his wife and children, but his full name hadn't been idenitified yet. State census records, witnesses listed on a marriage record, census records, and Civil War draft registration records identified his full name, parents, and siblings.
Brick Wall Case Studies #20: Finding a Tennessee woman's parents without a birth record Prudence was born before birth records were kept in Tennessee and wasn't listed on any census records with her parents. Studying the families in the area where she married, census records, Revolutionary War pension files, and Daughters of the American Revolution records led to her likely father.
Brick Wall Case Studies #21: Finding a New Hampshire man's parents without a birth record Ezra did not have a birth record, and only his father's name was known. Studying the families with his surname in the area where he was born through the probate records, cemetery records, and census records pointed to Ezra's parents.
Brick Wall Case Studies #22: Finding an Indiana man's family when he hadn't been found with them in the census Jesse did not have a birth record, and he hadn't been found with his family in the census records. His obituary and studying the families in the area where he was born led to the family to whom he belonged.
Brick Wall Case Studies #23: Finding the family of an adopted man's biological mother The birth and death information for an adopted man's biological mother had been located. Creative searches in the census records, as well as marriage records and state census records identified her family members.
Brick Wall Case Studies #24: Finding the descendants of one of the daughters in a family A marriage record Nancy had been located, but nothing else had been located. Marriage records in the area, as well as census and death certificates helped us locate her other marriages and children.
Brick Wall Case Studies #25: Finding the hometown of a Japanese immigrant to New York Masazo was known to have come from Japan but there hadn't been a document located that listed his home town. Naturalization papers and passenger lists named his place of origin.
Brick Wall Case Studies #26: Locating the family of a New Jersey man with many men in the area of the same name John was born in New Jersey before birth records were kept, and he wasn't listed in the 1850 census with his parents. Studying his neighbors in the census, as well as examining the families with his surname in the area, family Bible records, and his marriage record pointed to his birth family.
Brick Wall Case Studies #27: Locating the family of a man who joined The Church of Jesus Christ (Mormons) in Denmark in the 1800s Soren's wife and children in Denmark were known, but the records about them didn't list anything that would lead to his parents, and he had a common name. Lutheran church records, the LDS Scandinavian Mission Index, and LDS baptism records helped ot identify which family he belonged to.
Brick Wall Case Studies #28: Locating the family of an African American man of unknown origins who lived in St Louis A man named O.C. Richardson lived in St Louis in the 1920s and 1930s, and no documents had been located about him. Family information, autosomal DNA testing, census records, and a death certificate identified his family of origin.
Brick Wall Case Studies #29: Identifying the family of a man who lived in Indiana who doesn't appear listed by name in any U.S. census records Hugh married his wife, had one son, and died a short time later. Newspapers, studying families with his surname in the area he lived, and census records helped us to know what family he very likely came from.
Brick Wall Case Studies #30: Finding the parents of an adopted child born in the 1870s in Ohio Emma was listed in the census in an adopted family and her marriage record listed her as having unknown parents. Birth records, studying the nearby families, and autosomal DNA evidence pointed to her biological family.
Brick Wall Case Studies #31: Identifying the family of a man with a common name There were many men named Charles Miller so it was difficult to determine which one he was. A draft registration card gave clues to identify the correct man.