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.