Posted by Ancestry Team on September 30, 2014 in Contest

ACOM_BranchOut250x250_badgeJust getting started and need help building a research plan? Hit a brick wall on your great great grandfather? Have a family myth you would like to prove or disprove?

Then enter for your chance to win our Branch Out contest. The Grand Prize winner*, upon confirmation of eligibility, will receive the following prize package:


The Grand Prize package has an Approximate Retail Value of $2,496.


Simply complete the entry form making sure you provide a brief summary on what you would like assistance researching. If your name is selected, you will join previous winners Cheryle WarnbergHeidi HallStacey WoodleyCindy HillmanRobin Martin, and Tina Davis who have worked closely with our team to validate existing work and secured additional documentation and information to expand their family trees.

The deadline for entries is Friday, October 31st at 11:59:59 P.M. PT, so sign up today. The winner will be selected and announced in early November so stay tuned for updates.

Good luck!


* Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States (or the District of Columbia), who have the age of majority in his or her state of residence at the time of entry. Complete rules available here.




  1. Teresa Farrow

    After over 15 years of research I have hit a major brick wall. My 3 g grandfather, Nathan Farrow was born 1802 in Washington County, Maryland I have his life pretty well documented, but have yet to identify his parents. To break that brick wall would be like hitting the lottery.

  2. Looking for a Kasey ancestor who deserted from the British Navy in the 1760s around the Norfolk VA area. He was probably on the HMS Mermaid but we can’t get beyond that. Have other brick walls as well.

  3. Mary Goehler

    Desperate to get over a brick wall!
    Great Grand Grandfather Henry R Miller B:1799 Pennsylvania.
    DNA…. no help yet…….

  4. Suzanne Norris

    Need help with paternal grandmother’s parents. The important 1890 census that burned in 1921 fire was my hope for information. Her parents “died” when she was young and she was raised by aunt/uncle in rural southern MD. Cannot find any records of her parents. Please, I could use the help.

  5. Laurie Buchinsky Lindberg

    I have a few brick walks to get through – would live to get through just one! I love what I’ve been able to find so far.

  6. Annie Sternburg

    I haven’t been able to find the parents or siblings of my great great grandfather. I have been looking for years and haven’t had any luck.

  7. Inez Kenney

    My parents and their sibling have all passed so there’s no one to answer questions. Never met any grandparents and a lot os documents seem lost in Puerto Rico. Also 2 siblings died in NYC at a young age and I find nothing for them. Frustrated.

  8. Karen Costello

    When I first began dipping my toes into the elixir of history I assumed it would be a brief exposure to names I may or may not recognize from family discussions. After all, it was a stupid art class assignment of gravestone rubbing. Big deal. I believe all researchers should experience that brief tangible “touch” with their ancestors. That kinetic energy like experience of touching the spirit of the past to the present. That connection for me has continued throughout these past 36 years.some of my brick walls have been as deep and tall as the Berlin Wall. While other obstacles, in my sleuth like manner have taught me patience and continuity. I have been profoundly lucky to have access to an archived newspaper that has blessed me with the ability to research everyday events of my ancestors to be able to form a tapestry of their way of life. I wish I could identify this passion of family researching I have…obsession? A manic pre-occupation ? An addiction? I am just not sure where to place the classification. But when I stroll the oyster crushed walking paths of colonial Wiiliamsburg or casually relax at Charleston’s battery park or imagine the cannon fire echoing through the hilltops of Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York that is when I most closely feel that connection to my ancestors whether they were indentured servants magistrates widows or widowers… These courageous and valiant people have given me a pride of ownership in our America.every researcher has frustrating brick walls. At first they drove me crazy but now they are an opportunity to explore another lead on the twig of the forest of my family. And after this missive and I were offered the opportunity to remove one of those pesky brick walls? You would here the rings on my fingers and bells on my toes.

  9. jackie haworth

    I am so excited about my history,all started in a town named Haworth England,william came over on mayflower,landed in bucks penn,latter traveled across the us 40 wagon trains,list goes on from there
    here is where I am stumped 1500 there was a Robert Haworth cause he did not pay his tax,so many possibilities to go back .We have Haworth association on internet,Heard quakers has took lots of notes,daniel boone is in this ,mrs scarborough ,rita Haworth,So much,,,Where did sir Haworth come into this so much I want to reach for!my awsume heritage!
    Were we anglo saxon?,The haworths has had renions dated back to 1500 dated .Ever year they have a get together!never heard of this glad I am a Haworth!!!

  10. Kathy Lovenguth

    As I read through the previous comments I began to identify with the obstacles of finding that elusive piece of the puzzle that is our family history. I am thankful for the journey I started to learn about those who came before so that I would come into existence. Every new discovery is a triumph that only stirs my desire to learn more. To me this is what make genealogy so rewarding.

  11. Nicole Gurley

    I really need this chance because I knew my mother for one day and I don’t know my father so I would like to know the history of my family tree. Thanks so much for your time.

  12. Carolyn Knoll

    My mother, who has passed, was adopted. She never did know her birth father or his name. Would like to understand the family dynamics during the early 1900’s that caused my mother to be adopted. Also she was told that she was related to Selma Lagerlof. Confirmation of that information would be life changing for my young grandchildren. They already have writers in their DNA. Thank you.

  13. Carolyn Knoll

    My mother, who has passed, was adopted. She never did know her birth father or his name. Would like to understand the family dynamics during the
    early 1900’s that caused my mother to be adopted and who her birth father was.
    Also she was told that she was related to Selma Lagerlof. Confirmation of that information would be life changing for my young grandchildren. They already have writers in their DNA. Thank you.

  14. Carolyn Graham

    I am in the middle of my 14-day free trial of, and excited about finding my family links to our President George Washington! However, I have hit a connecting wall and need to find the names of the parents of my great, great grandparents. I know that my great grandmother was born in 1833 to a wealthy family and raised in a castle in Dublin, Ireland. She left her family, against her father’s wishes, in 1850 at the tender age of 17 to immigrate to America where she was a governess to relatives’ 3 children in New Orleans, LA. There, she fell in love with a widower, 12 years her senior with 3 young children, and married him in 1853, They had an additional 9 children, one of which was my grandmother. I have tried to find the missing link in Ireland but with no success so far. Please help my family learn our roots!

  15. Karri Howe

    I got hooked on researching my family tree when three years ago. I have hit a couple of roadblocks. One of those is my 4th Great grand father I know he was born about 1818 in Lincoln Co, NC and move to Tenn. Also my maternal grandmother was adopted I have a possible name for her father and not quite certain who the adopted parents. Needless to say need some help in what direction to go.

  16. Lynne Williams

    There are many brick walls I would like to take down. One I really would like to solve is one my late mother always told me. Her great grandmother told her, that she Annie Flick, was a grand niece of Daniel Boone. I have nothing on Annie, other than knowing she was married to Israel Charland of Detroit. Census records state that she was born in Illinois or Missouri.

  17. Fred Schenker

    My brick wall has brought me to a complete halt. My cousin Mary Ann Mabrey was born 1 May 1955 in Alton, Illinois, St Josephs Hospital. Attending physician Dr. Peter McFarlane(deceased). The original birth certificate we received from the state of Illinois appointed confidential Intermediary provide the names and ages as of 1 May 1955 as 19, for the Mother Phyllis Anne Sullivan, and father Robert Lee Ziegler age 21 and a student at Stanford University. She was born in Denver, CO and him in Palo Alto, CA. Sounds like a piece of cake …….. NOT …. I can’t count the hours …… I have worn out the card catalog. Any suggestions accepted. I will even go back over old ground.Thanks

  18. Zoe Brinn

    It would have been a good idea to state this was only open to US residents before I bothered to fill the form in.

  19. Researching both sides of family. I wish there were some pictures of them so I know who I get my looks from other than my mom and dad and my grandma. This process is hard but I am pushing forward‼️‼️

  20. Betty

    Have been doing research for over 20 years and have 3 brick walls I simply cannot climb over. Really would appreaciate the help.

  21. Margaret Pyle

    I have been researching my father’s side of the family and cannot get past his Civil War record. I need help. I have gotten back pretty far on other ancestors but no where with this one. What’s up with that?

  22. Really like and would like to continue my “searches”. Simply need to prioritize my budget and create a full account and “git-r-done”~ SP

  23. Anne Courtney

    Can’t seem to find out much about my parents ancestors. Was told that my father’s side of the family came to Jamestown, Virginia. Would love to know if it is true.

  24. Cheryl Wharton

    My brick wall is my 4xg grandfather. Would love that break through. It’s always amazing to continue to find new info. Have found out more then my family ever knew. Exciting.

  25. Donna McArthur

    I cannot get passed my father’s mother. My family lived in Missouri during the Civil War and I think they were laying low due to all the turmoil.

  26. I would love to know something about my dad’s dad side of the family it all dead now and no information past my Grandfather and the only thing I know about him is that he had a tattoo on his arm of a women that he could make it dance

  27. Jack Coffee

    For more than 35 years I have been more successful in helping other Coffee and Coffey researchers find their ancestors than I have finding my own! I could use a few hours of 1 on 1 with a pro!

  28. Sarah Masha

    I’ve been doing research for a little over 6 years now, the one family member (uncle) who may have been able to help me and got me started on this research passed away 6 years ago and he was never able to finish what he started. I feel this would be a huge honor to him and to my mother and aunt if I were able to finish what he started and finally put names and information in our family that have been missing for years. It’s just my aunt and mother left from that generation and I would like to be able to present to them something to show where we are from, what our family history is and to honor my uncle and another aunts wishes of finishing our family tree.

  29. Naoma King

    I love tracing my family history. I am at a road block at this point and would love help finding those family members I just can’t seem to find.

  30. Diane Mallow Brown

    I think I found a first wife of my a Grandfather that no one knew about. Is it true? What happen to her? More than a name, who was she. Love learning about the military backround of ancestors, WW1, WW2, Civil War was brothers against brothers, Indian Wars etc. have barely started on their European ancestors beyond coming on the a ship Phoenix. Would love help. Thanks

  31. Andrea Jones

    I would love to document my work on the family tree and maybe find the parents of my great great grandfather and grandmother Powers.

  32. Susan williams

    Apparently only for US residents. Even though a postal code option for Canadians the entry does not permit

  33. Kristie Wells

    Susan, this specific contest is for U.S. residents, but we are working with our Canadian team to launch a contest for our friends up North. Details coming.

  34. Joanne Vanderipe

    I would love to be able to trace my Scottish and Irish ancestry. I have not been able to get past third generation grandparents.

  35. I like to go France is where my great grandpa boyet came from he served in world war 1 against hitler then later was aloud to come to the usa because he joined the army I like to go and see if I can find any roots or relatives still living I also like to meet the royal family and give them my family tree saying I am part of there family ,Ireland, scottland, englad,Russia,france,and many more …

  36. I have no parents nor grandparents living and I’m having a horrible time finding anything past my grandparents on my mother’s side. My mom was born and raised in the coal mines of Harlan county kentucky so records are few and far between. I have some photos of our ggparents and they are Indian. My father’s side I never met my gparents and no very little about them. I want my kids and grandkids know who their forefathers were and to be proud of where they came from.

  37. Linda Warren Lind

    I have hit a brick wall with my 3rd great grandfather.and can’t seem to get any futher on that line. I need help………Please

  38. David B McLaughin

    I have documented data for my mothers line from 1634 to present—George Brickhouse Sr—B: 1634-“Malden, Suffolk, Massachusetts, or England/Malden, Middlesex Co., MA “–we cannot get him off shore to England or Germany where we all know he came from! Every “Brickhouse” in America came from this Man and Hannah Luddington–B: 1647–” Malden, Suffolk, Massachusetts, or England/Malden, Middlesex Co., MA “— Please help us (All Brickhouse descendants)—make a connection to England and Germany–The story is he fled Germany for England changed his name from Von Steihhausen to Brickhouse marine and left England for America—hundreds of us cannot make the connection—Gordon Brickhouse tried the hardest. The line went from Northampton—to North Carolina and then mine to Alabama then Texas and in to California—Joseph alexander Brickhouse joined the Civil war from Alabama and did much writing about his time along with a poem to his wife—he narrowly escaped a house search by Northern US Army—he want to study tobe a Dr–in Alabama but after the war became a teacher in Rockdale Texas–his brother James Howcott Brickhouse also spent most of his life after the war –in school positions in Alabama–Tennessee &Texas.. Please help us get Geiorge Sr off shore—perhaps from Malden–North of London and perhaps from Bavaria—JA wrote the letter–“Our Ancestors”–used by Gordon B in his book—I have the original of that letter!!!!—also would love to see this on TV—would be quite a discovery for every one named “Brickhouse” –White or Black–as there were slaves in the early families in Virginia and NC.—Thankd you for entertaining the thought of helping us discover his origins. David B McLaughlin—415-897-8411 Novato California

  39. We have been doing this for 9 years, not so much in the summer but a lot in the winter. We can’t get across the great pond to Ireland to locate anymore info. We are slowly contacting cousins and would like to show others is such a delight and being able to put names on pictures and documents.

  40. Carol Randall Reams

    My brick wall is with my 7 great grandfather, Nicholas Randall. I can not find documentation showing when he died around 1712 or 1721 and when he came to Philadelphia. I have his ledger book with his writing in it and the genealogy from him to my grandfather but can not find proof of which Nicholas Randall he was back then.

  41. Sally King

    Since it is past the 14th guess my comment won’t be considered. However, I have run into a wall. Can not find any information on my maternal grandfather. Really frustrating. Thanks.

  42. nina miles

    My husband just started doing his family tree. This site was highly recommended.I would love to give him this for a gift

  43. Fred Jorgensen

    I have been trying to break through that wall with my maternal 3rd g-grandfather Nicholas O’Camb. Having trouble at both ends. He was born in 1793 in Connecticut according to his enlistment papers in 1812. It also reports that he deserts from Fort Erie in 1814. Then a blank until about 1835 when he reappears in Upper Canada. He spent 80 days in custody as a rebel against the government. His claim for restitution was refused in 1845. He was listed in numerous censuses as a farmer and mason, on occasion, his name was spelled Oakham and Ocamb. He died in Hastings Ontario in 1876. I have the death record but have unable to locate his burial site. The local genealogical society says they could not locate any gravestites for any O’Cambs. I have been looking to find any info on his birth (reportedly 3/17/1793), his predecessors, or his burial site.

  44. Jacqui Piper

    i would love some help to get further back with my Woodage family. Have traced them to the late 1700s and now stuck thank you

  45. Jeanette Szajna Walker

    Although I have a number of problem areas, the one I would like help with is related to my children who are now adults. My first husband was of Polish, His grandmother came over in 1906. No one would talk about where they came from. I have my “line” for them but since they were infants when their father died, I would really like to give them the history of their father’s history.

  46. JIm C

    I have one concrete wall and one perhaps just of aluminum siding.. the Concrete one seems very re-inforced. I can not locate Great Grandfathers parents names at all.. and with a name like Warner.. that will not be easy.. On the aluminum side, I have Great Grandma with a burial permit feb 29 1892 for a local parish ( Catholic) in the Pittsburgh area.. that may come down one of these days 🙂

  47. Cynthia Hoffman

    Searching for information about my 5x great grand fatherThomas Calhoun, served in Rev. War. Lived to 103 years of age. Need connection to Mary Polly Calhoun Fry.

  48. Lisa Robotham

    I am having problems on my Fathers’ Fathers side. There is so much that is unknown. I know that there are so many stories that need to be told but I am so stuck on my 2 great grandfathers.

  49. Theresa Seger

    I’ve been searching for my father’s birth record. I cannot locate it in New York City, where he was suppose to have been born or in New Jersey where he lived. I feel like an alien child.

  50. Gina Alfaro

    How exciting to have found new cousins via Myself and two new cousins have worked really hard in trying to break through the wall regarding our ancestor George Russell. How exciting it would be for us to have help to resolve this mystery for us.

  51. Christine

    My brickwall would probably be so easy for a professional to break thru. My 4x great grandfather Thomas Graves was born in 1828 in Indiana. Through 3 years of research I cannot figure out who his parents were. Help please! 🙂

  52. Teresa

    I have been researching now for about 17 years and having a blast. A few amazing stories too. I had no idea about a lot of my ancestors. After taking the DNA test. Wow what a great surprise there!! Would love help. That would be fabulous!

  53. Carol Schafer

    My brickwall is a german immigrant in 1878. He came to Kentucky but I can find no other information on him. I realize that some German records were destroyed during the war but I am hoping that professional help will help me find the information.

  54. karen Lorek

    My Grandparents were Volga Germans. I can’t find out anything about their parents. Sure would love some help.

  55. Rhonda Watson

    I have quite a bit on my family tree but I don’t know if it is all accurate. Looking at my ancestors since all of my family are deceased. It comforts me. Want to have it all done and leave it for……well, it is a long story.I am 63 and medically disabled and this something I CAN do !

  56. Tamara Burks

    My brickwall is fairly recent in time. My father is illegitimate and he was adopted by his stepfather (That’s where my last name comes from) there is no information about my biological paternal grandparents other than my grandmothers nickname.

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