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.