Brick Walls

California Family History Expo is Great Success

But Our Hero has some Personal Travails! The California Family History Expo at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton wrapped up Saturday evening with a lesson on breaking through brick walls by FHE President and founder Holly Hansen.   Although figures were not yet available, the conference appeared to have been well attended on both days. California Genealogical Society communications coordinator …Continue reading →


Things to Do After Breaking Down a Wall

Last in a series–for now 1.  Breathe . . . . 2.  Do the Genealogical Happy Dance! 3.  Breathe . . .heavily.  (Take arthritis remedy). 4.  Notify family. 5. Seek peer review*. 6.  Publicize your research via blog, social network, etc. 7.  Publish your research in a respected journal. 8. Revise family trees, files, websites, genealogies. 9. Pat self on …Continue reading →


Breaking Down A Brick Wall–The Problem with Surnames, Part II

Fifth in a multi-part series I  had hypothesized that my Gines people were associated with English-speaking people named Gines who came from the West Midlands area.  They came to Virginia and North Carolina and from there moved on to South Carolina and other states of the Deep South, eventually winding up in Louisiana and Texas.   That hypothesis was based on …Continue reading →


“So What Makes You So Sure You’ve Knocked Down a Brick Wall?”

Remember the The Wrong Longs? Third in a multi-part series One of my other great-grandfathers on my mother’s side was named James William Long.  As with Richard William Gines, I set out to find the parents of James Long.  That search seemed like a stroll in the park compared to this one!  I quickly found a James Long in Kansas …Continue reading →


The Process of Breaking Down a Brick Wall

Second in a multi-part series Here’s a synopsis of how I achieved my #1 research goal: finding the parents of my great-grandfather, Richard Gines of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Bear in mind that eahcof these steps took months or even years to complete and some ran concurrently. Step 1:  The  Neophyte Phase.  I was new to genealogical research and had fairly easily …Continue reading →


Breaking Down the Wall-Prologue

First in a multi-part series I started my serious research in December of 2003.  From the beginning, my leading goal was to discover the paternity of Richard Gines of Shreveport,Louisiana, my great-grandfather.  I knew very little about him; until I was an adult, I had never heard his name. And then, over the years, my mother gradually began telling me …Continue reading →


Breaking News: Man Smashes Through Brick Wall in Louisiana!

I have done it!  I’ve made my greatest genealogical discovery ever!  For five years, my top research priority has been to discover the parentage of my great-grandfather, Richard Gines of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Following an intensified search this spring and summer, I can now say with the appropriate degree of confidence utilizing the Genealogical Proof Standard, that I have solved this …Continue reading →


The Brick Wall–Did We Really Knock It Down?

A week ago or so, I was making noise about hammering down a major brick wall in my research. I was getting ready to do the Genealogical Happy Dance. I have made a major advance in my research into the Gines family as a result of the research I’ve been describing here over the last several weeks. I’m thrilled about …Continue reading →


Way Around the Brick Wall: The Plantations

As we were making our long way around the brick wall of my great-grandfather Richard William Gines (1860-?), the trail led to several plantations in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. The first  plantation we found was called Marydale.   What attracted us here was a nearly forgotten tax record from Tensas Parish that showed Rebecca Gines and “Don” Gines living on the …Continue reading →


Reading the Writing on the Brick Wall

I had intended to move on today and discuss the plantations that we’ve come across in our long way around the brick wall of my great-grandfather, Richard William Gines.  But I want to share an issue that has hindered our search and is not all that uncommon.    The Wordle graphic above tells the story! To put the issue into genealogical …Continue reading →

August 2015
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