I actually yell that a lot when I’m in a research mode. It seems that my family is always the one missing from whatever record I am looking for. This creates tons of those “brick walls”. The point when you are stuck trying to verify or find information to go back another generation. I have been obsessively stuck on my Great Great Grandparents on my mother’s side.
I’m having the normal problems with names, that is abundant in my family, what the name really is. My Great Great Grandfather was Augustus Gottlieb Schmidt. (How do you spell that again? August, Schmitte, Schmit, Schmit, Smith. What is Gottlieb? Gottfried? Gottleib, Godfrey? you get the picture). My Great Great Grandmother was Dorothea Kline (Klein, Kleiner, Dora, Dorothy). Following this family has been one brick wall after another. See my Murder Mystery post
To tackle this family I have had to split it up to one section at a time in the hope of finding something to help find out what happened to Dorothea. That is the major stumbling block. I have a beautiful portrait of her in a wonderful black gown, with a gorgeous Ostrich feather hat, not just one feather, but the whole hat. The look and style of the picture says to me 1900, but Dorothea seems to have died around 1885.
I can remember a day when all I knew about my Great Grandmother’s history was there was a picture of her and some relatives from Wisconsin. That’s all the picture said was some relatives from Wisconsin. Other information told me she was born in Black Creek, Wisconsin, but as yet I have not found a record of her birth. But I do know the date and I used all her information (marriage, death, family memories) to find her parents. I used her parents marriage record to find their parents. Finding a marriage record for Wisconsin somewhere before 1874 was a trial and error method until I had a father, a mother and a verified marriage recording.
I then used census records to verify where they lived in what years. I took a big spreadsheet (honestly an old fashion accounting 15 column green notebook) I wrote Augustus and Dorothea at the top. I penciled in 1855 the year they were married. I then searched 1850 census and found Augustus, his brother and his wife, and an older man. I then went forward 1855 found 3 Males no female, hmm. 1860 found Augustus, Dorothea, Herman, Edward, and Auguste, my first thought was 3 children in 6 years. I followed all the census’s I could and found myself with a confusion on the children. Herman and Edward’s birth years switched constantly as well as where they were born. I followed each of the boys as far as I could and kept wondering about the birth dates. I fixated on the discrepancies so much I discovered that Dorothea was not their mother. Had I just chalked it up to census errors. I would not have found that Augustus married another woman in 1850 and that she died between 1853 and Nov 1855 (Augustus & Dorothea’s wedding date).
There are 7 children in this family. My original Family Tree lists Dorothea as the mother of all of them. I need to correct that to list Herman and Edward’s mother Sophia. I have found husbands for all 5 girls and realized that my 6th daughter is really not there. She is one of those wonderful “call them a different name in the next census” person’s. She is listed as Clara and Mathilda and I allowed an online family tree to convince me it was two people. It’s just one woman Mathilda Clara and I need to correct that error too. I am now following each child and their descendant line to hopefully discover what happened to Dorothea. I have one line done, Auguste’s line had no living descendants. Edward seems to have been single through 1940 at 87 I think he probably has no descendants.
To tackle a brick wall, you do it one brick at a time.