BROKEN LINKS AND BRICK WALLS

Most of my ancestors were Southern pioneers who were too busy earning a living to give much thought to leaving records for the convenience of their descendants. No doubt many of them would regard a descendant obsessed with tracing the lives of obscure farmers, mechanics, and small town merchants as an individual preoccupied with frivolous  pursuits. 

And it's not just people from ordinary circumstances who have difficulty in tracing their genealogy. Even the upper echelons of society have brick walls and broken links in their genealogical record, and most people, even those who are prominent in their communities during their lifetimes, just do not leave many footprints in history. Gary Boyd Roberts' excellent book Ancestors of American Presidents shows that even for extensively researched individiuals, such as presidents, there is still a lot we will never know about our ancestors.

Here are some of the problems in my genealogy:

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