Have you hit a
A brick wall in genealogy is a question we cannot answer or an ancestor we cannot research past. It means we have encountered an obstacle that hinders forward progress in research. Fortunately, many tried-and-true methods are at your disposal to break through brick walls. The best, field-tested strategies are all ACTIVE, not PASSIVE. The most successful are ways to either actively think your way through a genealogy problem or actively plan your way through.
Brick Wall Buster Cards System
Do you have a complex genealogy problem that has you feeling overwhelmed and disorganized? The Brick Wall Buster Cards system teaches you how to master the “thought chaos” caused by all that information swirling around in your mind. All you have to do is interact with the research in a new way and engage in activities that transform you from a (passive) data reader/collector into an (active) data user/thinker. By following the directions on the kit's prompt cards, you'll organize and simplify your research data so you can see and manipulate it. You'll find new connections, resolve conflicts, and brainstorm your way to find missing information. Plus, the system guides you step by step, at your own pace, through the many different methods needed to break down your brick walls.
is a systematic way for you to ACTIVELY:
VISUALIZE YOUR TARGET ANCESTOR'S LIFE FACTS AND TIMELINE
DEVELOP YOUR RESEARCH GOALS
BRAINSTORM THROUGH BRICK WALL PROBLEMS
WRITE YOUR FACTS AND FINDINGS INTO A PROBLEM-SOLVING PAPER OR A GENEALOGY NARRATIVE
Does living in the computer age affect our ability to break through brick walls?
Genealogy software and websites have greatly increased our research capabilities. Our data collections are neatly organized and streamlined. We have reduced our paper files significantly, and we can quickly access our ancestor’s information. However, repeatedly reading or viewing our ancestor’s information on an electronic screen, quite literally, has taken our research data out of our hands. We have become passive consumers and observers of the research we’ve collected instead of active, hands-on users of the data. Brick wall problems are not solved by only taking in or reviewing information. Solving problems requires us to become active.
Can I just do this in my family tree software?
The short answer is no. Do you ever feel like you are missing something or that you can't "see" all your research data? Information on an electronic screen is tough to use. The screens are small, so you can't see everything you need to. Plus, reading or reviewing data on a screen is a passive way of interacting with your research. In an electronic scenario, your brain automatically understands it doesn’t have to work hard. It simply goes into a mode of “information intake.” It’s only receiving information, and it’s not trying to produce any thoughts that will solve the brick wall problem. The good news is you can easily make your brain become a dynamo of problem-solving thought. To achieve this, it just takes physical interaction and slowing down your thought processes. When you physically interact with tangible items like paper and pen, you begin to use your brain as a power tool to actively think through information and analyze and correlate the pieces of data in a way that will have you breaking down that brick wall in no time.
Is the system difficult to learn and use?
Not at all. Simply use the cards (as many or as few as you want) by placing them on a table, posting them on the wall, or even sorting through them by hand. You will add to them your own information and discoveries on sticky notes, and before you know it, your work is made easy.
How does the system help me?
Ever feel like you are engulfed by a pile of research? Do you ever think to yourself, “If I could just get organized, I could solve this mystery?” If so, the Brick Wall Buster Cards system is for you!
Complex genealogy problems can feel overwhelming. (Don’t worry, it’s not you, and you’re not alone!) You CAN master the “thought chaos” caused by all that data swirling around in your mind. All you have to do is interact with the research in a new way and engage in activities that transform you from a (passive) data reader/collector into an (active) data user/thinker. The system shows you how to use techniques that:
- teach you to handle information in a new way to see more links and relationships
- allow you to see all your research at one glance
- organize your research for you (yes, really!)
- simplify all the data
- show you any gaps, errors, and conflicts
- automatically create a narrative outline (and eliminates writers’ block!)
- help you plan and brainstorm your way to success
What is included in the Brick Wall Buster Cards system?
Life Fact CardsCreate a timeline for your target ancestor. You will use this information with all other groups of cards.
Research Planning CardsDevelop your research questions and to-do list. This will also point out areas where your research needs more work.
Writing CardsEasily create an outline for you to utilize in producing a narrative for your research. This eliminates writer’s block. Writing out your research findings is one of the very best ways to break through brick walls.
Discovery CardsOrganize your thought processes and assist in making sure you’ve thought of everything possible to break through the brick wall.
Story Enhancer CardsHelp you fill in rich details of your ancestor’s life. You’ll be encouraged to think about your ancestor’s personality, their socio-economic status, their home life, etc.