When You Hit That Wall
Prepared by Electra Kimble Price, AAGSNC, September 19, 1998
Do a census history on all heads of the household.
Track down all of the wives/mates and the children by each.
Check the Mortality Schedules from 1850 through 1880.
Check all the variations on the spelling.
Review the data taken from the census schedules and see if it is consistent. Weigh the evidence.
Try to get counties with all of your events. Once you have them, check to see what boundary/border changes have come about. Maybe the data that you are seeking is not in the county that you have listed for the individual.
(A good source for this is: Map Guide To The U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide. This gives you the maps so that you can see what towns were included in the counties, and just how and when they changed.
Compile information about each ancestor by time period and place. Figure out what records would be available to document and verify what you have.
Federal: U.S. Census Records
State: Census data generated at the state level, also death records.
County: Marriages, land and probate records
City/Towns: Directories and Histories
Repositories: Church records stored in repositories.
Funeral Homes and Church Cemeteries
African-American Universities, Colleges, Institutes, etc.
Social Security Death Index
College and University Libraries
Give each person a birth, marriage, and death date even if you have to do an estimate.
Find a "Genealogy Buddy" and go over your information and have them play the "devil’s advocate".