Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yearly Income per Head 1688 England (Part 1)

Understanding social class is an important task during the tree climbing experience. Often it will help the genealogist place a family in the context of the culture being explored. This is especially true for those coming from the big island called Albion.

The yearly income for the head of family is given for the year 1688 England. It is recorded in pounds sterling. One usually stars at the top of the social latter, so I will start at the bottom!

Beggars 2
Vagrants; as Gypsies and Thieves 3
Common Soldiers 7
Cottagers and Paupers 2
Labouring People and Out Servants 4
Common Seaman 7
Military Officers 15
Naval Officers 20
Artisans and Handicrafts 9
Shopkeepers and Tradesman 10
Persons in Liberal Arts and Science 12
Farmers 8
Freeholders of the lesser sort 10
Freeholders of the better sort 13 be continued.

A comment on society outside the church is shown by the list above.

The information is abstracted from The World We Have Lost: England Before the Industrial Age, 2nd Ed., by Peter Laslett, pp. 36-37.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poor to Peerage : Becoming an Adult 1650 England

Social class has been a part of culture since they started burying all those important things with the dead. Life had to come first of course, and your social position had to do with lots of things held valuable to those in the community. Iron weapons, chariots, swords, gold, silver, drinking cups, and all sorts of things were valued and buried with the folks who needed a little extra help to make it in the afterlife.

The figure to the right shows an outline of the social class in England around 1650. Here, social class was an accepted phenomena in life, and your beginning "class" was rarely changed. The "poor" held down one end of the social chain, and the "peerage" the other end. In a broad general sense, there were the "laborer", "merchant/trader", "yomen", and "knight" forming the other links in the chain of social order.

From infancy to adult life, the expected activities were organized. "Infancy" = birth to approximately 5 years of age; "Primary Education" = usually at 5-6 years lasting to age 13-15 years; "Apprentice" or "Secondary Education" [depending on social class] begin after this. The "Apprentice" generally started around age 10-11, and was sent to live with the owner of a trade. On average, these lasted roughly seven years. "Secondary Education" generally began around 13-15 years of age and included years at Oxford/Cambridge, and the "Inns of Court". For the male, adult life would then be considered appropriate. Thus, for the genealogist dealing with family during this period, roughly 1400 - 1700, a social structure can be applied. Many times, this approach has helped me around the brick wall.

The main source for this summary is:

Laslett, P., The World We Have Lost, England Before the Industrial Age, 2nd Edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971.

Other texts:

Reed, M., The Age of Exuberance 1550-1700, The Making of Britain, Routledg & Kegan Paul, London, 1986.

Howell, W.S., Logic and Rhetoric in England, 1500-1700, Russell & Russell, NY, 1956.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Conceptualize Content

For some of us, references and texts are not always dull and boring. [They call us genealogists!] However at times, even the best reference gets a little tiresome. One way to help is to conceptualize the content in a way that makes it interesting or important to you and your tree climbing. Just what do these references contain? How might they be utilized? What content is hidden among the pages?

For me, such was the case with Cavaliers and Pioneers, by Nell Nugent. See post:

They ended up being a seven volume set of information on the abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants. Seven volumes mind you! Over time, they ended up being one the most helpful references in my own family's tree climbing. Along the way it was helpful to ask just what information did they offer, and how was this organized. It became clear that the English way of doing things was transferred to these new colonies. Land ownership was the goal of many younger sons as they came across the great pond. Each entry followed the same pattern, and soon it became evident that the content was repeated in the same manner for each entry. They were:

Name(s) of Individuals Responsible for the patent,

Number of Acres surveyed,

Geographic Identifier, usually a county or river course

Date [not always given],

Description of Survey

List of individuals transferred [total numbers not always given in abstract].

Wow! So if any of these items surfaced during my tree climbing, I would know if this group of references would help. For example, if the name of a river or county appeared, I knew that I could use the index to each text to help locate those who might have landed along this river. If a term like "Jones Creek" and a date would appear, I would know that these references would list all the creeks that were listed among the abstracts. What a deal...conceptualizing content.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Letters Patent" : A 12 Step Process

Governmental red tape has been present since the onset of...well, governments. Being sure to jump through all the correct hoops, and in the correct order, is part of the process. In May 1498, it was no different. John Cabot was about to leave England on his voyage to discover land not claimed by another nation. He of course needed a "letters patent" from the King. The process to receive a "letters patent" is not generally discussed in the history books. I thought it might of interest to those genealogist who would appreciate the process.

The following pages are an outline of the 12 step process of obtaining a "letters patent" as it stood in early colonial history. Please remember that you can click on the pages to enlarge them. They are copied from The Jones Genealogist, Vol.X, No. 2, July/August, 1998, pp.4-5. Going through these steps would certainly keep one occupied for a certain period of time. It would also provide many opportunities to line someones pock, or to provide that extra favor.

Understanding this process certainly helps the genealogist to appreciate what our ancestors accomplished.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For The Serious Genealogist

You know your a GENEALOGIST when:

You can't drive past a cemetery without wondering if your ancestors are buried there.

Your neighbors think you are crazy, your friends wonder, and you know you are.

You have to watch the credits of a movie to see if any of the surnames are ones you are researching.

The mailman can't believe that you got this much mail from someone you don't even know.

Your fear of snakes and bugs is overshadowed by the need to get through those brambles to that old gravestone.

You worry about the roof's leaking only if the drips threaten your genealogy section.

When you read the New Testament in Sunday School and find yourself comparing the pedigrees in Matthew and Luke.

When you find your ancestor's executions by hanging or burning at the stake, far more interesting than the mass-murder that just took place next door.

You move to a new town and the first thing you look for is a historical or genealogical society in the area.

submitted by: Mary Jones, MD

Copied from: The Jones Genealogist, Vol.XII, No. 4, Nov/Dec, 2000.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clarify Dates

Detailed chronology is the foundation to brick wall demolition. Having just started a new blog on Cadwallader Jones, I was reminded how important this is in the documentation of facts. The very first item is such an example. {see: } It documents a "Dower" release of Alice Corbin. It is dated "6th day of January 1672". In the text, it records that land transaction occurred "September 21st 1672..."! This would mean that the document was signed before the land transaction even occurred if one did not recognize the old system of dating. In addition, the item was recorded in the court records "4 die 9bris 1674", some one year after the action was taken. If one only looked at the date the item was recorded, it would be some two years after the event. What in the world is one to do?

All this is said to remind the genealogist, that a correct date is important in establishing the identity of many in the family tree. Reading and recording the dates appropriately is vital to breaking down many of those brick walls.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A New Blog: Cadwallader Jones

For those who would like to read about "Primary Documents" and "Secondary Documents" relating to tree climbing, I have started a new blog titled: Cadwallader Jones. [ca. 1650-1703] I hope to tell his life story using these types of documents. The link is:

come see what the documents tell.

Monday, October 31, 2011

BWP (37): Connecting the Dots

There are times when the tree branches get pretty thick. All those names, locations, histories, dates, etc., do you connect all those dots? This is very common in Welsh genealogy when the family is recorded in various towns with very unusual names. How are they all connected?

It was not until I connected a number town locations that it became evident that the family was really from the same area of Wales! The map to the right shows a drawing of many of the towns and locations that my JONES family resided. The names were taken from records, wills, deeds, etc., and their geographic locations identified. They fell along Wat's Dyke which had been the border between Wales and the Marches since 700 AD. The family located in a geographic area that represented the tribal group from which my JONES surname originated. An explanation that helped connect the dots!

Monday, October 24, 2011

BWP(36): A Place to Work

Having a good place to work is important in breaking down many of those brick walls. It often takes placing all the information about you in a single location that can be utilized over a period of time. A card table, a dinning table, even an end table can work. [It will sometimes take those in the family to agree to let you leave the work items about.]

The picture shows my work table. Lights, action, camera...well maybe not the camera. But you can get the idea. Space to work... a place to work... brick by brick.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BWP(35): Your Own Research - An Example

There often comes a time when things just seem to go nowhere. No helps, no records, no documents, no leads, and no direction to help get you around those brick walls. What is one to do?

At this point in my own tree climbing, I would begin to do my own research. What do I need to know? Where do I need to go? What questions can I try and answer for myself?

The following two figures represent such a research attempt. I wanted to know if those who shared the JONES surname were more likely to go to Oxford or Cambridge. If so, would there be an area of the county which they would more likely come. I wanted to try and bridge that part of colonial history which sent their sons to England for their "higher" education. I was hoping this would connect my Virginia JONES family back to an area of the "mother country".

These first figure shows that the JONES surname attended Oxford roughly 3 to 1. This would help me decided to go to Oxford first, looking for my "Richard Jones".

The second figure shows a map that outlines the counties from which those JONES originated. Blue for Oxford, and pink for Cambridge. Yellow showed those counties that had did not have a single JONES for the time period under study. I would at least know that the JONES surname would not come these counties.

This study also showed me that Wales seemed to send their boys to Oxford. The eastern counties seemed to send their boys to Cambridge.

This at least gave me some ideas as to where to start looking.

Friday, September 30, 2011

BWP(34): A Coding System for Genealogist

A previous post describes my JONES family coding system which has served me well over the years of tree climbing. See:

This coding system was also discussed in BWP(17). However, there comes a time when you will find yourself in a nest of surnames. It may be at a particular geographic area, or historical time period, or a religious group with many members. There will be multiple folks with the same names being used. How do you keep them straight? How do separate and identify which John Johnson, John Smith, John Brown, and John Jones is the path you will need to follow? The following method is a coding system I have found helpful. It is different from my family coding system, since it involves only one surname, and needs to code for multiple generations. This approach will help separate and code each individual among a large number of folks with many different surnames.

It is very simple. First you label each person identified by their surname. You take the first two letters of their surname and then assign them a number. If the first name is John Johnson, you would code "JO-1". If you have another John Johnson in the county at the same time, you would label him "JO-2". Now if you have a John Jones living next door, you would code this "JON-1", knowing that you have already used "JO = Johnson". Thus, "JON = Jones". Now if there was a John Johns in the same neighborhood, you code him "JOH-1", using the next letter of the alphabet that was not used in a previous surname group.

Any surnames that share the same letters would take the next letter to separate and code it. Thus, Saul would be SA-1, Sampson would be SAM-1, and Samuel would be SAMU-1, etc., etc.
You would then start a record of the families identified in this geographic area, coding each individual, and you would not used the same letters for a different family surname.

Start with a small number of folks that you are working. These often will be those around your brick wall. Then start a listing for the codes you use, allowing you to keep a record of the surnames. Let's get started!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BWP(33): Using History

Time changes things. Well not really time, but as time passes, things that seem familiar often change to mean different things. Taking time to try and understand these changes will often make a difference in many brick wall solutions. For instance, early settlers to Kentucky had land grants given for military service. [Mostly called "Military Warrants".] When finding these ancestors, knowing the amount of land that was granted will help determine their rank. Knowing how much land was granted will often help separate individuals who share a common name. [Like John Jones!] Virginia was responsible for using [what was to become Kentucky] land unoccupied to pay it solders. A post called :

"Land By Rank- Virginia Land Laws 1763" gives the ranks by which the amount of land was determined. See:

Perhaps this will help someone else to go around their brick wall.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

BWP(32): Any Questions?

For those who are using The Brick Wall Protocol for the first time, things might be getting a little hairy. You may have questions regarding the concepts, method, or tools presented. Please fill free to ask questions, or make comments regarding this approach to brick wall demolition. Place your questions in the comment section of this post and we can begin a dialog regarding the issues. This might help everyone get a little further out their tree branches!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BWP(31): What Year is It?

A detailed chronology is the platform on which many brick walls are demolished. Of course, understanding this chronology is often difficult, especially if two modes of computing dates are used in one historic period.

Starting in England from around the 7th century to as late as the 13th century, the year was reckoned from Christmas Day. But, in the 12th century, the Anglican Church began their year on the 25th of March. Over a period of time, the civilian population adopted this calendar. Thus, the civil, legal, and ecclesiastical year were united. However, this produced a change in the "historical" year, which by historians began on January 1st.

To help clarify this dating, a method was developed to add the date of the historical year to that of the legal year. This was necessary when speaking of any day between the 1st of January [starting of the historical year], and the 25th of March [starting of the legal year]. This became written as January 30, 1648-9. The first year being the civil and legal year, the second date being the historical year.

For the genealogist, this becomes confusing when this method is found in deeds, wills, surveys, and other civil or church documents. Just remember that the last figure (year) always indicates the historical year, or the year according to our present time.

The legal year was ordered to commence on the 1st of January by the reformation of the English Calendar by law titled: "Stat. 24 George II. c 23". Thus, dates recorded before 1753 must take these matters into consideration.

Monday, September 12, 2011

BWP(30): Count Your Pennies

Understanding how money was counted and utilized during certain periods in history is often helpful in genealogical research. For instance, if you find in a will that the family had personal belongings that were valued at a certain amount, you could judge approximately the social rank or status of the family. For those of us who share an "English" background, the silver penny is the foundation.

A post titled: "The Silver Penny" outlines this topic:

A text titled: "The World We Have Lost, England Before the Industrial Age", by Peter Laslett, gives a number of tables which help define social class during the period prior to 1700. A very valuable reference.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

BWP(29): Follow the Leaders

Those who have gone before often leave a path to follow. For many, this is a helpful way to find direction and help in genealogy. Finding this help will save many a hour (or days) in tree climbing experience.

Perhaps it is a family member who has already done most of the work on the family's history. Perhaps it is a writer, or historian, or just plain Sam who loved to climb trees. At any rate it is often helpful to seek this source.

My Dad gave his advice on "Dirty Books".


A path well worn.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BWP(28): Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

After doing genealogy for many years, it became evident that having fun in the process was part of the excitement. Making up your own ways to remember difficult topics, or areas of history that seemed complex, was always fun. [Part of the challenge I guess.]

Memory tools they might be called, and I present one that I made up to help me remember the major rivers and their relationship to one another in tidewater Virginia. It was literally taking matters into my own hands! The post is:

It is an illustration of how one might create a way to help remember geographic landmarks. Go head. Take matters into your own hands. It is not as hard as it might seem.

Monday, September 5, 2011

BWP(27): A Dating Method

A genealogist is often faced by an individual ancestor with an unknown birth date. One method to help this uncertainty is presented in a post called "Brick Walls". It is found at:

hope this method is helpful! It has helped me over the past years get around a few brick walls!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

BWP(26): Ping-Pong

Methods to get around brick walls often vary. A method frequently used I call "Ping-pong Genealogy". This method is presented in a post:

Any one want to play?

Friday, September 2, 2011

BWP(25): Gunter's Chain and The Rest of the Story

Making surveys were a major part of land settlement in the early colonial period. The methods used were standardized so that 1,000 acres would be reasonably close to 1,000 acres. By 1624 this was helped by the introduction of Gunter's Chain, which became the instrument of choice for use in Virginia, and as far as I know in every other English settlement. Its description is given in a post:

The rest of the story is presented in a series of post that deal with the development of measurements. This all started with land use and a kernel of corn! For the rest of the story see:

under : "Leaps and Bounds", July 22, 2011

"The Legal Acre", July 27, 2011

"Paramount", August 1, 2011

Amazing what a kernel of corn can do!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

BWP(24): Social Roles

Time travel often makes it difficult for one to appreciate the differences that existed in the period we wish to explore. Understanding these differences will help in grasping our ancestor's lives and the forces which surrounded them.

Male social roles were a significant part of the lives of many during the English migration period 1600-1700. [Here English means all those on the great islands.] The figure to the right is drawn to represent the male social system active during this period. Age is shown on the left column, and social "rank" is shown across the top. It made a difference in expectations for those of different social environments. It represents the time frame from birth to adulthood, generally completed between the ages of 21-27 years.

The topic is discussed at:

Remember that you can click on the figure to enlarge it. It was taken from my research notes used to break down one of the many brick walls surrounding the surname JONES.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BWP(23): Name That Creek

Previous posts in this series have discussed the method and tool of making maps. The figure shows the end product of this process leading to the naming of creeks, and other landmarks useful in tree climbing.

Many early patents (land grants) are recorded using creeks as markers for locations. Separating and identifying these often help break down many brick walls.

The post is found:

Enjoy the swim!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BWP(23): Understanding Terms

Words often change their meanings over time. This presents some difficulties for the genealogist who lives in one generation, and those ancestors who lived in another.

The post entitled : "In The Freshes", discusses this topic. It connects with the posts that describe making maps, since old maps often have terms that are used differently than we expect in out vocabulary today.

The post is:

Check it can freshen up!

Monday, August 29, 2011

BWP(22): Maps form History

Making maps can be a key ingredient to moving back some of those brick walls. [BWP(21).] Likewise, using maps from history will often provide addition information and understanding regarding those ancestors.

The figure to the right is such a map of the Virginia , 1754. A post entitled: "Maps from History", June 3, 2011, discusses this help.

It is to be found in the blog: The Jones Genealogist. It is intended to be a help.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BWP(21): Making Maps

When genealogy becomes geography, it is frequently necessary to make maps of the geographical area that you wish to explore. A post, titled of all things, "Making Maps", is presented on March 31, 2011 at the blog The Jones Genealogist. The official location is:

whew, they get longer every day!

If you have an interest in making maps, check it out. Hopefully, it will help some who like to go exploring!

Friday, August 26, 2011

BWP(20): Genealogy and Geography

Time travel presents new challenges to the genealogist. A world changes from what we know and experience to that of our ancestors. Trying to understand their world becomes an invaluable aid in expanding your brick wall demolition skills.

The following post was given to help explore the concept, "When Genealogy becomes Geography". The post is found in the blog called "The Jones Genealogist", December 10, 2010 at :

additional post will give some aids relating to this topic.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BWP(19): Squares and Circles - A Method

As the tree limbs get thicker, and the branches get longer, the number of folks involved in the family greatly multiply. A coding system has been introduced to help separate, and keep all these folks identified. The following figure shows a way to get the family tree organized.

I have called the method "Squares and Circles". It uses the same graph paper you already know, and places the family tree in a "big picture". [I always had trouble visualizing the family using the standard genealogy forms.]

This is presented in my blog:

The figure to the right shows a six generation branch of my family tree. The coding system is shown, along with a way documentation can be handled. The references which document these family members are placed near the square (male), or circle (female). A separate reference page records the documents.

Give it a try. Questions?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BWP(18) : A Concept

Genealogy is much like working a 5000 piece puzzle. The post "The Picture on the Box" of December 7, 2010 discusses this concept. If interested see: December 7, 2010.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BWP(17): A Family Coding System

Over time, the family tree grows. The number of folks that share the same name, and the same geographic location, begin to get confused with one another. It was evident, fairly early in my own tree climbing, that a coding system would be helpful. This system is discussed in a post titled: "My JONES Family Coding System". This was presented as a method to help those who need a simple way to keep everyone in the family tree straight. The blog is:

and the post date is January 19, 2011. If you need a simple coding system, please check it out.

Monday, August 22, 2011

BWP(16): Working Example

Michelle Goodrum asked a good question regarding how to use the graph paper small squares. I thought it might be helpful to show a working sheet that demonstrates how I used the process.

The year is 1682. Months are listed on the left side with numbers. From top to bottom, each 5 squares represent the month numbered giving space to write your information. I placed names, dates, references, and all sorts of things to help me outline the year 1682. I have also written in the margin to the right. Hope this is helpful.

You will need to develop your own style and process, but it is important to keep the "process" the same for each page.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

BWP(15) : Additional Helps

During the past year, a number of blogs have posts written by me, relating to topics intended to help the genealogist. These are scattered about, some dealing with concepts, some dealing with principles or methods, and some giving tools which might aid in your tree climbing. I will try and present these post in some order, so that the genealogist may find them and use them.

First, there are eight blogs that I have developed during the past year. Each approach genealogy from a different angle, and have a different theme. "The Jones Genealogist" tells my personal story from childhood, when I started doing genealogy at age nine! "The Jones Surname" approaches genealogy from a specific, difficult surname like JONES. A third blog called 'Welsh Genealogy" approaches from a historical perspective, placing the JONES surname in its context. A forth blog, called "The Jones Surname DNA", describes DNA written from the ground up, to help the genealogist understand this difficult topic. [I use my own DNA as an example.] A final set of blogs called Ge-ne-al-0-gy 101, 201, and 301 are written to help those who are just beginning to get an interest in genealogy, and need help getting started. [They also give a method called the "geneogram" which is a way of recording your family outside the box.]

The next series of post will list these helps as they seem to make sense in relationship to "The Brick Wall Protocol". I will give them as "Additional Helps" and will try to list the blog, title, date of post, and some description of the content. The "official" blog listings are: [started July 2010] [started July 2010] [started September 2010] [started December 2010] [started August 2010] [started August 2010] [started September 2010] [started August 2011]

Please make a visit!

Friday, August 19, 2011

BWP(14): Where To Go From Here

By now things should be falling apart. Not you, that is, I mean the brick wall. If not, be sure that you have determined that Step 2 has been completed.

It might be helpful to provide a way that brick wall destruction can be shared. I suggest that those who still have trouble, place the brick wall in a comment to this post, and I will label a post that others can join.

If you have succeeded in demolishing your brick wall, please leave a comment telling the success in a post. This may help others.

As Cicero said more than 2,000 years ago:

"For what is the worth of a human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BWP(13) : Use All Your Tools

A detailed chronology is now at your finger tips. Use it wisely!

Be sure that you have detailed documentation for each item discovered in Step 2.

Now comes the fun part. [At least for those who still like to color.]

Use the colored "Hi-Liters" to make a color coding system for your notebook.

Yellow = historical information.

Blue = geographic items.

Pink = dates.

Weave the pages together for time, space, and point of reference. When things come together you have a possible solution for one brick!

Rule in and rule out is part of the process.

Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BWP(12) : Point of Reference

Many factors impact our lives. What makes us do what we do and why? What forces affected the lives of those who lived before us? These, and other issues like these, become a point of reference for our tree climbing.

Let's begin!

These references I have used over the many years. You might want to comment on references that you have found most helpful.

Staples to the rescue! Mead's Neatbook seems to be available on line, but you can use any form of graph paper. Over more than 50 years of tree climbing I have used many, many, different types of paper!

Remember this was written just as the Internet was getting started. I still feel that every item determined as a family "story" needs to be verified. Documentation is fundamental to genealogy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BWP(11): Space Analysis

The next step in your brick wall destruction is called "Space Analysis". For all you "Trekkie" fans it is not outer space, but geographic space. It is where your family tree is planted.

You are directed to use the left side of the graphic paper which would be the back side of the page before you. In this way you maximize the graph paper you have purchased.

I received an e-mail from a reader who tells me that the "NEATBOOK NOTEBOOK" may still be available at Staples. Please post if anyone knows!

Monday, August 15, 2011

BWP(10): Time Analysis

A detailed chronology is often the key to busting through your brick wall. This section of the protocol starts you on your way. Please remember that it is best to start at the beginning of the protocol and complete Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Get those pencils going!

The type of graph paper will vary depending on the number of small squares per inch. You will need to adjust your yearly entry depending on the type of graph paper.

At this point, the most important aspect is the documentation that you have obtained doing your own tree climbing. Start with the most secure fact! This becomes your starting point in the notebook.

You will need to make your own scale of months, days, years. Use the back of each page for the additional information you will be obtaining.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BWP(9): Methods

The following section introduces the methods to brick wall destruction. Please follow the instructions closely, and complete each section in order.

Time and Space analysis, what a deal!

I have included a picture of the materials contained in my first publication. You will need to get these simple supplies at any "dollar general". The markers are pink, blue, and yellow.

Remember that the graph paper will be different from the ones now available, but you will following the same methods.

Let's get going!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

BWP(8): Step 4 The Notebook

Graph paper becomes the working pages of your brick wall demolition. When this protocol was first written, there was available the "Neatbook" notebook by Mead. This notebook has been discontinued and there has been multiple types of graph paper replacements. You will need to recognize this change in the protocol since I wrote it when the "Neatbook" was available.

The methods would basically be the same, depending on the type of graph paper you are able to purchase. Wal-Mart has changed their selections three times! At least 80 sheets are needed. Some come in 100 sheets. At any rate, you will need to make some changes in the "nitty-gritty" as you work through the methods section.

At this point you will need to get some graph paper.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BWP(6): The Three-Stranded Cord

A "big picture" is often hard to grasp. Time, space, and point of reference can be view as the following illustration explains.

Keep up the good work!

Now apply the concepts to Step 1, and Step 2.

Poem to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Basic concepts of genealogical research are presented in this segment of The Brick Wall Protocol. Please note that you should have completed Steps 1, 2, and 3 before you begin this section of the protocol.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

BWP(4): Step 3 - A beginning Point

Step 3 is to be sure you have completed Steps 1 and 2. You should have a name, date, and location of the brick wall. If not, you will need to go back one generation until you have these three items.

When steps 1 and 2 are completed, you should go to the "Concepts" section.

Concepts yet to come.

Monday, August 8, 2011

BWP(3): Step 2

Sometimes the hardest thing in genealogy is to clearly establish were your heading. Or at least, where you would like to be heading. Step 1 ask you to define the question you wish to answer...your brick wall. Now comes "Step 2".

Step 2 is to document and organize every fact that you have recorded regarding the person you wish to understand. You will often find that you have a tremendous amount of information, or on the other hand, a very small amount of information.

Step 2 is to help you clarify the documentation that you have collected. The pages outline a series of items important in your tree climbing. This will also help give you a list of "rocks" which can be turned over, or the names of some "closet doors" which could be opened.

Step 2 may take some time, but you have been butting your head against your brick wall for some time now, and a little help in resting your forehead is often helpful!

You may need to add additional items to your list. Let's get going.

Remember, Step 1 must be completed before Step 2.

Click on the pages to enlarge them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

BWP(2): Begin Here - Step 1

This is the second post for The Brick Wall Protocol. "Begin Here" is the place to start. It introduces you to "Step 1" in the process of brick wall destruction!

Step 1 is the foundation. Be sure you have a clear statement and understanding of what your brick wall actually is! Follow the steps carefully. Let's begin.

Recognize that you can click on the pages to enlarge them.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

BWP(1) The Brick Wall Protocol

Frequently, "brick walls" present themselves to the genealogist. How to go around or demolish them becomes quite a task. Having faced many such "brick walls" in my 50 some years of doing genealogy on the surname JONES, I have come to accept them as part of tree climbing.

The following blog will present what I have used to help get over and around these proverbial "brick walls". It is intended to be a help to those who wish to continue their genealogical experience in spite of facing a wall. It is called The Brick Wall Protocol. It will be presented as I have developed it in a "work book" approach. The pages of the work book will be presented as if you are using the actual protocol intended.

The pages and text will be published as designed. Each post will have a number identified as "BWP(#)" so that a reader can following in order. This is BWP(1), meaning "Brick Wall Protocol, reading #1. Post will follow in sequence so that the reader will be able to utilize the information as intended.

The pages will be presented in order and hopefully make sense to the frustrated genealogist. They should be used in sequence to be most helpful.

Please make any comments or suggestions using the comment space at the end of the post.

The first three figures show the title page, purpose, and copyright. First published in 1989!

The next post will describe "Step 1".

I trust this protocol will be helpful to genealogist for generations to come.