The old genealogy brick wall! I recently completed tracing a family which was a project for more than 40 years. There were virtually no records. So here is what I did. I searched all around it and identified most every family in the region/regions. Once this project was completed, the narrowing down began. Only two families qualified to have a child of that approximate age. Published genealogies do frequently omit children, simply because the last will and testament omitted that child, he had already moved away, etc. Somehow, we have establish the names of all the families having the same surname. The details are so important. Other sources are deeds, tax digests and inventories of estates. The annual returns of an estate list the transactions, who was paid, who received, etc. Heirs gave receipts or vouchers when they received property or cash from the estate. The sale of the property listed the widow who was given incidental household items and other names. The other names are suspect to be relatives. I cross-check the male purchasers in that county's marriage records to discern whether or not he married a daughter in the family. I want to know the identify of every person who participates in an estate. It's the only way.
Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books