Introducing Brick Wall Queries

We’re excited to be introducing a new feature in our newsletters and on our website to help our members break down their brick wall problems! Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society is now offering a Queries feature to members (free) and non-members (fee-based).
• Do you need information on a brick wall ancestor? Perhaps another member can help.
• Perhaps you can help another member with their challenges. Do you have expertise in a particular area and can offer advice on where or what databases to search?
• Do you have the same surname in your family database?
• Do you subscribe to a paid website or resource and are willing to search for the info?
• Can you check for a record at your local library, historical society, town clerk’s office, take a cemetery picture, etc.?
Why are we introducing a Queries feature?
• To help our members solve their brick wall problems.
• To build a local genealogical community where members support each other.
• To provide a way for members to pay it forward or be a genealogical angel.
• Because many of our members share the same religious, ethnic, locality, or other backgrounds. Other members may be just starting on this avenue of research and would benefit from our members’ expertise.
• Genealogists love to share both their brick wall problems and their solutions.
• What might take a member hours to research, might be an easy task for another member.
• It’s sometimes helpful for someone else to take a fresh look at a genealogical roadblock.
• Besides our Surname List, it’s another way for our members to seek assistance.
How it Works:
Up to three (3) queries may be posted by an individual each month. If more queries are received than space permits, those who have not previously posted will receive priority space. Posts are free for members and cost $5 per query for non-members.
Queries should be specific, concise, and be related to one event or person. The Queries Editor may edit the request for clarity or space limitations.
Examples of queries:
• Seeking birth and death dates of Therese Fidy dit Lavigne in Quebec. Parents were Jean
Baptiste Fidy and Marie Catherine Guerin. Died before 1802. (Submitted by Jeanne  Leblond)
• Looking for marriage and death dates for Petrus Andras, born 1897 in Zdiar, Slovakia. Possibly killed in WWI. Where can I find military records for Austro-Hungarian soldiers for WWI? (Submitted by Jeanne Leblond)
• Need marriage record for John Benson and Lydia Aldrich, married abt. 1827 in VT or Stanstead, Quebec area. (Submitted by Nancy Netherwood)
How to Submit or Respond to a Query:
Queries and responses should be sent via email to
or submitted through the Contact Us section on our website. Members may also bring their prepared queries or responses to our monthly meeting or to one of our research clinics. Non-members should submit their payment ($5.00 per query) via the Donate
tab on the website.
Answers to queries should include the source(s) of information found or specific information on a website or database. Please send your response directly to WMGS. We will forward the response to the person who asked the question, post it in the next newsletter, and archive it on our website under the Queries section. That way, everyone can benefit from the information.
As a reminder, be sure to periodically check out our Surname List for updates and to see if you recognize any names. The Surname list is updated quarterly.
Note: Because of space limitations, WMGS reserves the right to limit the number of queries that are listed per newsletter. When necessary, queries will be posted in the next available issue. WMGS and its members are not responsible to conduct research, to provide answers for the query, or for the accuracy of the information posted or received. Always verify any information received by checking its source.

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