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Group Efforts
11/1/2008
Gang up on your research brick walls and watch them crumble with our eight partnership pointers.
 
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The Three Stooges. The A-Team. The New England Patriots. Cinema, comedy, television crime-fighting and sports all have successful teams. And so does genealogy. That's right — family historydom is populated with plenty of dynamic duos, talented trios and effective families that work together to conquer tough brick walls.

Take the winners of our Terrific Family Tree Teamwork contest: Winners Bev Ophoven Ewing and Kathleen Lenerz told us how their 10-year research partnership began back in 1998, when Kathy (in Connecticut) e-mailed Bev (in Minnesota) with a question — had her Meyer relatives lived next to the Lenerz family in Dane County, Wis., from 1855 to 1860? Turns out both women's third-great-grandmothers had the maiden name Schneider. Bev researched on-site in Wisconsin; Kathy studied newspaper microfilm and posted on mailing lists. Once the relationship was confirmed through an obituary and German Familienbücher, Kathy went on to research naturalization papers while Bev pored over microfilmed German church records. As they continue to tackle mysteries, they bounce ideas around, build off each other's thinking, and divide up tasks according to their interests, knowledge and skills.

Contest runners-up — mentioned throughout this article — told even more tales of effective collaborations (see the entries in our Exclusives for Registered Users Forum <forum.familytreemagazine.com/forum>). Their stories show the advantages of a group approach to research: You'll generate more potential solutions, accomplish more tasks and have more fun. You, too, can join the ranks of successful genealogical teams with our eight-point playbook.

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