Avoiding that “Go-to” Problem Solution

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut even when one is solving problems, finding answers, and making progress. One approach will not guarantee a solution to every problem.

One of my go-to solutions when a person seems to appear from the sky in a new location is to consider that they’ve been there for a while but hiding under a last name–often a last name of a step-father whose identity is unknown. That scenario was the one that found my ancestor Ira Sargent. Ira’s father died when Ira was around seven. His mother married again a few years later and Ira was known by that last name until he married in 1870. That’s why it looked like he just “appeared.”

Because that approach worked for me on a brick wall that was near and dear to my heart, it tends to be one that I think of first. But it’s not the only thing situation that could result in someone appearing to drop from the sky.

Always consider all the options when you are brainstorming scenarios to help you try and find records and answers. That “brick wall” may be a worse brick wall because you are stuck on one approach.


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