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Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls
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Note: Please be aware this course is classified as "Basic Level" in the Professional Development Certificate Program. It has been developed for individuals who are at or working in the Intermediate to Advanced Levels in our other certificate programs. It is advised that you complete the Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 1 course or have a working knowledge of the topics taught in that course prior to completing this one.

Brick walls are a reality in genealogy research, but fortunately there is hope. In this course, we will look at a variety of strategies you can implement to help turn your research roadblocks into breakthroughs. We will begin with a quick refresher of some key research concepts to help focus your research and prepare you for success. Next, we will walk through some simple steps to get you prepared for the journey. Finally, we will investigate four different approaches you can use to do some brick wall busting. By the end of this course, you should have some new ideas for researching brick walls and the inspiration to forge ahead.

One students experience:
To hear a student discussion regarding their experience with this course, please click here. (This is a large file and may take a minute or two to download.)

Course Content

Module 1
Getting Started: Part 1
Note about Web Addresses
What is a Brick Wall?
Research Methodology Refresher
Get Organized
Define the Research Problem
Case Study - Part 1
Suggested Reading and Resources
Getting Organized

Module 2
Getting Started: Part 2
Compile Basic Information
Create a List of Name Variations
Learn the Location
Map It
Physical maps
Political maps
Plat maps
Topographic maps
Locality Guides
Moving Forward
Case Study - Part 2
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 3
Strategy #1: Review Previous Research
The Importance of Reviewing Previous Research
Create a Research Log
Review Data
Real-Life Example
Evaluate Data
Analyze Data
Report & Plan
Case Study - Part 3
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 4
Strategy #2: Develop A Timeline
What is a Timeline?
Types of Timelines
Basic Timeline
Comparative Timeline
Historical Timeline
Methods for Creating a Timeline
Analyze, Report & Plan
Case Study - Part 4
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 5
Strategy #3: Study The FAN Club
What is the FAN Club?
Finding FAN Club Members
More About Neighbors
Methods for Tracking Associates
Discovering Patterns & Relationships
Analyze, Report & Plan
Case Study - Part 5
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 6
Strategy #4: Engage Others
The Power of Collaboration
Society Meetings & Conferences
Social Networking Websites
Message Boards & Mailing List
Online Family Trees
Librarians, Archivists & Other Record Keepers
Course Wrap-Up
Suggested Reading and Resources

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