Break Through that Brick Wall

When you’ve been working on your family tree long enough, sooner or later you will hit a brick wall. It happens to nearly all of us. That one elusive relative that no matter what road or path you take to trace their movements, they seem to vanish.

Recently, I read a wonderful article in Family Tree Magazine on how to help break through those brick walls or even find a way around it. So if you are at a point where you need some alternative ideas to get past your wall, then try some of the tips in this article.

Happy searching!

Butler County Resources

Every so often, I research through records online looking for elusive relatives. I also take note of genealogy records and resources that I find worth mentioning here on my blog. Today’s search landed me in Butler County and their local library. The library has an index to over 390,200 newspapers from 1818 to today that focus primarily on deaths and obituaries, however, you might also find citations for marriage licenses, divorces, accidents, court notices and more. The database is located here and information about the database can be found here.

Another database available is the Butler County Poor Farm. The farm opened in 1900 and ended in 1963. They kept a record of everyone sent to the Farm and conducted a census every three months. While the Farm provided a home to primarily Butler County residents, other counties would send people to the farm. You can search Births, Burials and Census and Death records broken down below:

Census A-B C-E F-J K-L M
  N-R S-V W-Z    
Deaths A-B C-D E-G H-J K-L
  M-O P-R S-T U-Z

The Show Me state shows us

It took 16 years and long countless hours, but the folks at the St Louis Genealogical Society did not waiver in their endeavor to index every burial in the city and county of St Louis. The Show Me state shows us what dedication can do!

The list is broken down by cemetery name and provides the location and denomination if applicable. If you have family that relocated to St Louis or your family lived there, this is a great opportunity to find some burial and death information. That is the good information. The sad bit is, you must join the Society and it is for a fee.

There are a few days remaining if you wish to search Fold3 WWII records – and it is free till Dec 31. You can even see draft registration cards, Navy muster rolls, and missing air crew reports.  If you haven’t taken advantage of this free offer, now is the time. You will need to register but the records are free to search, save to Ancestry or download and print.

Merry Christmas to all and a Healthy and Happy New Year.

Dropbox and Public Files

On March 15, 2017, my once public files will become private with Dropbox’s new terms. I can create links to those files and share them with people.

So here is a list of the public files, all dealing with genealogy, and their new links. I shared them here before, but those links will cease to work in March 2017.

1940 Federal Census for Laurelton Village

1901-1903 Boyd’s Directory of Shamokin PA

Odd Fellow’s Orphans Home list of Wards 1897-1920 

June 1940 Bugle Notes, Odd Fellows Orphanage, Sunbury Pa

March 1941 Bugle Notes, Odd Fellows Orphanage, Sunbury Pa

Nov 1940 Bugle Notes, Odd Fellows Orphanage, Sunbury Pa

Sunbury American Newspaper Clippings 1876-77

Internet Genealogy’s Top 30 Research Sites

Any of these items can be downloaded to your computer.  Not all files were created by me but credit remains on the file to the original contributor.

Family Tree Chart

Family Tree Magazine is offering this free chart to record the names of family ancestors.  I think it would be nice to complete one for a child or grandchild and put it in their baby book or frame and hang on a wall.  It might just be the thing that gets the next generation interested in genealogy!

Family Search Wikis

Family Search has research wikis that combine useful information to researchers. You can see the years civil records are kept, where to research online and physical records and information about the area you want to research.  They are a wonderful resource for the fledgling and experienced researcher alike. Below are some links to wikis for my state and states that surround me (Pennsylvania).


New York

New Jersey



And if you want to view the wikis for all locations – you can start at the main Wiki page.


Find My Past for $1

If you’d like to browse the records at Find My Past but don’t want to pay the monthly fee, then you need to act NOW!  You can get access to all their records for just $1 for a month.  Just go to their site, sign up for the premium or starter subscription, and use code REM161FOR1 at checkout.  One thing to be aware of: if this is like all subscriptions, you might need to cancel your membership before the month is up or you’ll be charged their normal monthly subscription fee.  Another caveat – this is only available for first time subscribers. This offer expires today!!

Free Access to Veteran’s Records

Find My Past is offering free access from now until November 13th to their 43 million US and Canadian military records, 25 million British military records and 356 thousand Irish military records.

You can search by name, by dates, regiments, or soldier number if you have one. If you’ve put off searching military records due to costs – now is the time to take advantage of this offer and record set. You will need to register to see the records, but registration is free.

New Jersey State Census 1865

Family Search has been indexing the New Jersey state census from 1865 and this is a valuable census for researchers, even if you don’t think you had relatives there. Ellis Island records show that many immigrants lived temporarily in New Jersey after arriving and prior to moving on to their destination.  You might find that you have relatives in this census so it would be a good resource to check. Access to these records is free and you can search by name and if the name is common, you add a life event and/or relative.

Free Access to Fold3

Hurry, there is free access to Fold3’s WWII collection, but only until November 8th!  And if that isn’t bonus enough, they also have free access to their Native American collection until November 15th.  This is a great time to discover your family’s history!

Note: Free access will require registration to a free Fold3 account.