Well I'm doing the direct line for now to make sure that all the information I have in it is clearer than it is in my other tree. I've never used a GEDCOM so I'm afraid that I'm rather unclear to exactly what type of file that is. However, I agree with you about looking at where other's have come from if you can't find somebody. The problem though is that the records either don't always go as far back as needed or there are no other people to look at, e.g. no siblings, aunts, uncles, etc: I'm particularly stuck on somebody in my tree, but they're from the mid 1780's and no records have turned up so far. It's a total brick wall for now. Perhaps I'll do a maternal DNA test to see if that gives any clues.