Archive for category Brickwall Busters

Brickwall Buster – Using Local Resources

Posted by on Saturday, 28 March, 2015

Do you have an ancestor which just can’t be found? Are you missing a date for a birth, marriage, death or some other event? Often overlooked and under-utilized genealogy resources are local to where your ancestor lived. Sometimes original records with scanned images can be found on local websites. Other times they may have some transcriptions and notes about the original resource. How great would it be to find something on a local website, which you might not be listed anywhere else on the internet. Sometimes the local website, might not have anything online, but may have a vast amount of records which they house locally.

This post is all about trying to find a local resource which might help you break through that genealogy brickwall. We will explore the types of data and records you can find. While reading this post, open up another page on your web browser to your favorite search engine and follow along.



One place you will want to find is the local genealogy club in the town where your ancestor lived. Let’s see an example of what you might find on a local genealogy website.

Enter one of the following criteria into your favorite search engine to find local genealogy club. Better yet, try them all and see what comes up.

  • Newtown Connecticut Genealogy Club
  • Newtown Connecticut Genealogy Society
  • Newtown Connecticut Genealogy
  • Newtown Connecticut Births
  • Newtown Connecticut Marriages
  • Newtown Connecticut Deaths
  • Newtown Connecticut BMD

The Genealogy Club of Newtown is one of the first websites which comes up with most of the web searches above. Take a few minutes now to go to the Genealogy Club of Newtown website. Explore some of the transcriptions available.

What did you find?

Here are some transcriptions which are available on the website;

  • 1890 Census Substitute including (School Records, Grand List, Voters, New Electors)
  • Listing of Irish Tombstones
  • Various Articles which include Bible Records

Don’t forget to contact the Genealogy Club after exploring what might be online. They may have more records or at least know where those local records might be stored.



Another great resource to look for is the local historical society or the town historian.

Enter one of the following criteria into your favorite search engine to find the local historical society or town historian. Better yet, try them all and see what comes up.

  • Oxford Connecticut Historical Society
  • Oxford Connecticut Town Historian
  • Oxford Connecticut History

One of the search results you will find is for the Oxford Historical Society. Take a few minutes now to explore the website.

What did you find?

This website has some links to class photos from the 1960s and 1970s. While there doesn’t seem to be anything else on the website, make sure you check out the links they have.

  • Oxford Past has cemetery transcriptions and genealogies from around town.
  • Our Oxford has digital copies of diaries, town reports, sexton reports of burials and more.

When you are browsing the local websites where your ancestor lived, do not forget to contact someone from the local organization. I know firsthand that these local organizations often have a vast amount of materials beyond what is indicated on the website.

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One more local resource to consult is the local library. Some libraries have records available online. Others have a genealogy room or a local history room.

Let’s see what we can find. Enter the following search criteria in your favorite search engine;

  • Bristol Connecticut Library
  • Genealogy Bristol Connecticut Library
  • History Bristol Connecticut Library

One of the first sites you find is for the Bristol History Room at the Bristol Public Library. Explore the Bristol Public Library Website now for a few minutes.

What did you find?

Did you notice the following items available at the Bristol Public Library?

  • Cemetery and Church Records
  • City Directories
  • Diaries
  • Newspapers
  • Probate Records
  • Yearbooks

After reviewing the website, you’ll find that although they may not have a lot of information online, there’s plenty of information and records available to plan a research trip to the library.

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Most towns will have at least one if not all of the resources described above, but what else might be out there online and how can I find them?

Open up your favorite search engine and enter the following criteria in them.

  • hidden genealogy records seymour connecticut
  • unusual genealogy records seymour connecticut
  • uncommon genealogy records seymour connecticut
  • rare genealogy records seymour connecticut

As you can see from the queries above using a different word in front of “genealogy records seymour connecticut” yields different results. Trying to find those needle in a haystack websites is like being like a detective. When I entered the search criteria of “hidden genealogy records seymour connecticut”, one of the first links provided was a link to some prior posts from this blog. This website indexed some school records from Seymour, Connecticut. Indexes of these records are available online and these blog posts are likely to be the only place you will find them on the internet. If you go to the Seymour Historical Society, you can consult these records in person.

At some point this year, I’m planning on getting these records into my research database so that they can be searched by name. For now though, these would have to be looked through one at a time for your ancestors from Seymour, Connecticut.

As you can see from the resources we briefly discovered, there’s a vast amount of local resources ready to be explored as you try to break through that proverbial genealogical brickwall.