A wise man once said, “Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as Progress.”

I’ve had several interesting genealogy finds recently that demonstrates this. One in particular is my GIBBS research. Long ago I (with a group of other GIBBS family researchers) gave up thinking we’d find the ancestry of my 4th great grandfather, Justin GIBBS of Jefferson County, NY. It was a classic upstate New York DEAD END, BRICK WALL, DO NOT PASS GO situation. This spring we attracted a couple of new researchers that provide an option we hadn’t been able to use before. DNA! These male GIBBS cousins are newer to this Justin GIBBS dead end, but they make up for their lack of experience by their enthusiasm and persistence – oh, and also contributing their DNA for study. In the last three months, as a group we’ve narrowed the possibilities considerably and our attentions are re-focused. We still haven’t solved the Justin question, but we’re a many times closer to that step backwards than we’ve ever been. I’ll let you know how we make it.

Take heart. Brick walls can crumble. It might happen unexpectedly when it does.