Monday, October 31, 2011

Brick Walls: Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents

During the summer, Geoff Rasmussen, the host of the Legacy Family Tree Webinars asked me to give a talk on Researching in Connecticut.  He suggested that I use the family of Nathan Brown as an example for the talk.  Geoff frequently uses Nathan Brown as an example when giving webinars on the Legacy Family Tree software.  It turns out that Brown is also one of Geoff's ancestors.

Well, I had to tell Geoff that I couldn't include his ancestors in my Connecticut webinar.  I did find his family but they weren't from Connecticut.  Not originally anyway.  Geoff was pretty excited that I had found his ancestors.  We both agreed that talking about the process of how I found them would make for a good webinar.  The only down side for Geoff was that I couldn't reveal anything about his ancestors to him until the day of the webinar.

It has been really fun tormenting Geoff for the last month or so.  But in fairness, I've been tormenting myself as well.  I have been trying to dot all the i's and cross all the t's.  That has kept me researching and confirming for the last few months.

But the time has come to release Geoff's ancestors to him and to present the webinar.  This will happen on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 2pm Eastern Time (that's 11:00am in California and something like 7:00pm in the UK).  The webinar is free to any interested person with an internet connection. The only thing you'll have to do in advance is to register.

The advantage to watching it live is that you have the chance to win free prizes such a copy of the webinar CD.  But if you miss it, don't worry, you'll be able to watch for free on the Legacy Family Tree site for awhile.

"If this is about Geoff's family why should I bother watching it?"

Great question!  Yes, this is about Geoff's ancestor but it is really about the process of solving brick walls and then proving or confirming what you have found.  It's real practical advice for any genealogist or family historian who has a brick wall to solve.

In the first half of the webinar I will be discussing several techniques that can be used to bring down brick walls.

The second half of the talk will be devoted to document analysis and showing you how to prove you've really solved your brick wall.

The really fun, and yet incredibly challenging  aspect of this brick wall, is that it is being solved completely by indirect evidence.

Given that I have no smoking gun, it's fair to ask "Did Marian really solve this brick wall?"  You'll have to tune in to find out and then let me know afterwards.

Am I scared? A little bit! This has been a really difficult research challenge.  But it has pushed my abilities as a researcher and really gotten me to think.

So tune in on Wednesday and see if you think I've solved the mystery.  Or tune in to give me some support!

At the very end will be a big announcement where I reveal a fascinating ancestor that Geoff is descended from!


  1. Very interesting Marian. I've signed up for the webinar and I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure there will be something to learn from your research.


  2. I've signed up for it, too. People do get lost in the cracks between Mass. and Conn. in addition to getting lost in the infamous Oblong. This will be so much fun to hear.

  3. I learned loads of research tips, especially on how to use indirect evidence. Thank you!

  4. This was a GREAT webinar. As someone currently enrolled in the online BU Genealogical Research Certificate Program this was so relevant. We just finished the Evidence Evaluation module and your explanation of the indirect evidence was wonderful. I recommended it to everyone in the class.