solving difficult cases, tracing ancestral lines, and using land records from
multiple sources to create plats that demonstrate familial relationships and
location. Most cases take lines back to their East Coast origins. All research
involves understanding federal and state records, and the use of what was
originally called "cluster genealogy" or what Elizabeth Shown Mills CG,
CGL, FASG now terms the "Fan Club." Up until the mid-twentieth century
individuals did not normally move from place to place without a community
of friends and relatives. Placing a subject within the context of their friends,
associates, and neighbors (FANs) helps determine possible migratory routes
and distinguishes people with the same name.
My basic philosophy when approaching research is that there are no
brick-walls in genealogy, only undiscovered sources and misunderstood
Many problems can be solved by:
micro-history of the a county or geographic region.
blockhouses, forts, stations, general stores, post offices, and taverns.
Genealogists as a bench mark for research and analysis.
By using these tools to understand the relationships between a family being researched and their neighbors and associates, in most cases, conclusions can be reached. .