I have a “Solid” Brick Wall that I have been chipping away at for over 10 years. My mother passed away almost 15 years ago. She was not the type to talk about her family although she did share a couple of stories about her childhood and her Grandfather (which turned out to be untrue) with my sister and I as we were growing up. The one thing I have, which I consider true beyond a shadow of a doubt, is my Baby Book that had a “mini” Genealogy written in it. All the information for my Grandparents on both sides were correct, as well as the names and dates for my paternal Great Grandparents. However, I have had so much trouble verifying my maternal Great Grandparents information.
I finally decided to ask for help in one of the Missouri Genealogy groups I am a part of on Facebook. One woman gave me a lead on my Great Grandfathers possible brothers so I took it from there. Darn, it was a dead end. Yay, in searching for my Great Grandfather Plesent Smith I found a 1900 Census that not only had my Grandfather listed but my Great Grandmother as well. At least I thought it might be her, but her last name wasn’t Smith. So off I went doing more searches and coming up empty. Don’t you just hate that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think you will never find what you are looking for? As I sat there feeling disappointed the thought hit me. Maybe if I use the name on the Census and look up the Missouri death records, maybe if she died sometime after 1910, maybe just maybe I will find something. Eureka! Sarah Jane Newhouse was in the database. Her birth date and place of birth matched what I had in my Baby Book exactly. Her parents were listed and her maiden name matched the father’s last name. I have finally found her.
From her marriage to a James Newhouse in 1894 I now at least know that my Great Grandfather died sometime before that. I have found my Great-Great Grandparents names and also the names of her 3 sibling. I also found out that Sarah had had 6 children by the 1900 Census and only 1 had lived…my Grandfather. I am now having an exciting time finding an entire line that I had no clue of just 24 hours ago.
The moral of this story is to not be afraid to ask for help. Utilize the varied Genealogy groups that are on Facebook or that are online. Even a Professional Genealogist needs a little help sometime.