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Brick wall solutions

When researching a brick-wall ancestor, any new information provides renewed hope.

One of the proven brick-wall recommendations is to create a timeline of the ancestor. Timelines provide a unique perspective of the ancestor's life and may help you pick up on something that you've missed before.

I've been stuck on John McCALL's origins for quite some time now. Yesterday I decided to review his timeline again. Thankfully, creating a timeline in Legacy is very simple - just click on the Chronology tab.

I've reviewed John's chronology a lot, but this time, a combination of certain events stuck out:

  • 7 Mar 1789 Deed - North Carolina, Washington County - purchased 50 acres of land
  • 11 Aug 1789 Deed - North Carolina, Washington County - purchased 100 acres of land
  • 1792 Tax List - owned 250 acres of land

The March 1789 deed was his first recorded in the land books, when he purchased 50 acres. His second land purchase was just six months later, when he purchased an additional 100 acres. He did not purchase any more land until 1795.

So . . . if I had located every land record before 1795, he should only have 150 acres at tax time in 1792. But it said he had 250 acres. Where did these additional 100 acres come from? (Of course, there's a lot more that could be said, ie: what did the tax records say after 1792, were there pages missing in the land books, etc.).

In his March 1789 deed, it mentioned that John was currently living in the county. So now I know that he's been living there, and I know that it's possible that I've missed some kind of land transaction before 1789. I sure hope so! And if/when I find it, I sure hope it mentions where he came from before he moved to this county.

I could not have made this new conclusion (about the extra 100 acres) if I did not utilize Legacy's events/facts and the powerful Chronology View. For some, this conclusion may seem trivial. But for others who have these "dead-end" ancestors - any new information does indeed bring new hope!

Learn all about using events/facts and the Chronology View in the training CD: Researching with Legacy: Mastering Events and Chronologies. Click here to watch a preview of this video.

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