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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 studentís 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
Websites
 
Introduction
• What is a Brick Wall?
 
Research Methodology Refresher
• Sources
• Information
• Evidence
 
Get Organized
Define the Research Problem
Case Study - Part 1
 
Suggested Reading and Resources
• Getting Organized
 

Module 2
Getting Started: Part 2
Websites
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
Websites
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
Websites
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
Websites
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
Websites
Ancestry.com
The Power of Collaboration
Society Meetings & Conferences
Social Networking Websites
Message Boards & Mailing List
Online Family Trees
Blogs
Librarians, Archivists & Other Record Keepers
Course Wrap-Up
Suggested Reading and Resources
 
 

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