What's New

The Key to Understanding Family Relationships


List of First Name Abbreviations


New Genealogy Records

Ten Effective Strategies on How to Build a Family Tree

Google Limitations on Genealogy Searches

top 100 genealogy websites 2016

Sell Art Online


More Great Genealogy Brick Wall Solutions - Part II

This is the second part of our article listing more great genealogy brickwall solutions. Enjoy.


16. Short Migrations – Tracking down ancestors that migrated can sometimes be a considerable chore. Women who get married, change their name and migrate all at around the same time can be particularly challenging. Family lore can often be vague as to where they went other than to say something like ‘west somewhere’ (see Migration Within a Country).

This is one of those examples, however, where it really pays to try to think like your ancestor. People today tend to assume a migration is something that involves a long distance move. However, in the horse and buggy days, a migration would not necessarily be a long-distance affair. It could be a move that today could easily be covered in a one hour drive by car. Never discount the possibility that your ancestor’s migration may have been a short one by today’s distance standards. Try checking the records and newspapers of neighbouring towns.

tiger lillies
Women tended to move shorter distances than men. Women often moved for marriage and could usually find a spouse in the region. Men often moved for work and sometimes had to go great distances to find work.

17. Migration and Marriage Dates – When tracing your ancestors back to the old country, look at the difference between a couple’s migration date and their marriage date. If one (or both) migrated and were married soon after, then consider the possibility that the couple knew each other in the old country. Or, at the very least, that the couple both came from the same region. You can use this knowledge to narrow down the geographic search area for one individual based on the birth region of their spouse. Also look closely at marriage records to see if there are any clues to migration.

1907 Iowa marriage record
As this 1907 Iowa marriage record shows, some marriage records contain an incredible amount of useful genealogical information. See also Marriage and Age Differences.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next Page