When you come to what you think is a dead end, or a "brick wall" in your Scottish research, step back, and take a better look at the documents. Scottish documents contain a wealth of information and can make researching so much easier when you really take a look at what the documents are telling you.
Use a spreadsheet or create a chart with five columns:
WHAT I ALREADY HAVE
WHERE THOSE DOCUMENTS ARE
- Make a list of all of the documents you already have so that you don't waste time searching for them again.
- Think about what you already know from the documents you have.
- What questions are still unanswered?
- What do you still need to know?
- Looking at the documents you have and knowing what you still need to find out, what are the best documents for you to get that might give you the answers you need?
- Next do some online research to determine where you are likely to find the records that will help you fill in the gaps or chip away at your brick walls (newspapers, land records, church records)
- Move forward by starting to look through documents you may have missed in the past. If you can’t access the records online and can’t plan a trip, reach out to a local genealogist who can work on your behalf to access the records and the information you need to help break through your stagnation and move your research forward.