Has the following happened to you? First, you come across a document or record that gets your genealogy research going in some direction. Then, you find another document or record and begin to think that you are on a roll. Then…..nothing. For hours. Your patience and enthusiasm run out, and before you know it you have closed the books on another genealogy research session that you thought was going to be more productive.
Such is genealogy. Sometimes it goes and it flows, and sometimes…..not so much. Instead of letting an unproductive research session, dead end, or brick wall put the brakes on your genealogy research indefinitely, why not try one of the following suggestions:
First, reach out to others. There are many genealogy message boards, chat rooms, email lists, and newsletters out there. Look around and see if there is one for the surname that you are researching, or perhaps the geographic area where you are looking for information. Not only will you be able to talk to people about your research problem, you may even be able to help others with the research that you have already done. Connecting with other genealogy researchers will at the very least help you to get over feeling alone in your frustration, because others are likely running into similar obstacles.
Another strategy is to move on to a different ancestor or different branch of the family tree. This is especially helpful for researchers that are just getting started and have many other avenues that they could pursue. As you proceed down these alternate lines, you will be building your research skills and you may even find that later, when you go back to the query that was giving you trouble earlier; you have a fresh idea about how to work through it. Even if you don’t, you will still be moving along in your research and that will help you to feel good about what you can do instead of focusing on what is currently elusive.
While trying these two strategies may not help you break through that brick wall, they are certain to help you break out of the funk that you are in. At the very least, you will be motivated to continue your genealogy work. You may even rekindle your love for genealogical research while you’re at it.