Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Brick Wall

When dancing with the ancestors the path is not always straight forward or, in this case, since I'm researching the past, straight backwards. Sometimes, I have to go around, or under, or over, or whatever, a brick wall or two.

What does that mean? It means getting a bit clever with my research methods.

For example, my 2 x paternal great grandmother Rebecca Adcock-Smith. I don't have a clue as to the name of her parents. Not. A. Clue!

Not one, seriously, nada, nothing, finito, zippo, n-o-t-h-i-n-g!

Here's what I know about my 2 x great grandmother . . . her first, middle, and last name, the name of her husband and children, and where she lived from about 1840 through her death, and with who she lived, and the fact, at least according to census records, that she was born in South Carolina.

So, I have some starting points. I also have the names of her children that might - possibly, a slim chance - give me a clue as to her parents names since, more often than not, names were passed down through the generations.

For example, Rebecca's mother-in-law was named Nancy. That name was passed down to a few of her granddaughters, as was the name John B. (her husband's name), and the name Riley. So, as a previous post discussed, there is a naming pattern.

The problem, I'm not sure what, if any, of her children were named after her parents, which makes researching them a bit harder.

For now, I've taken the route of looking for the name Adcock in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 Census Records. I'm then going to research each Adcock family and determine . . .

. . . if they lived in SC prior to moving to Warren County, Tennessee.

. . . if they did live in SC prior to moving to Warren County, Tennessee, did they have a daughter named Rebecca Ann.

That's my starting point people, and it may/may not lead me over, under, around and/or whatever the brick wall that exists regarding my 3 x great-grandparents.

Hopefully, I'll leap over that wall! Hopefully!

But, as you can see, it's not a direct path. I have to put the pieces of a puzzle together and hope I'm on the right trail, and that someone else before me has done some of the work.

So, when dancing with the ancestors, get creative in your search methods and know that the process that worked on one branch of the tree, probably won't work on another branch of the tree. You have to dig, dig, dig, and dig some more when dancing with the ancestors.

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