My brick walls are everywhere. :/ but I haven't been searching for very long. One thing that is very very usefull though, and many don't think of it, is Facebook. Yeah, I said it. Facebook. Most cities and towns have a page, and often the libraries, historical, and genealogical societies have groups and pages as well. It is totally free to ask and post "looking for" messages to the owners of the page and for the public to see. I found two direct sisters of my father that way- I made a "searching for the family of my father" page, and about a week later, an old lady in England was sitting at her computer, and searched for her brother on Facebook. I popped right up, and within hours, a phone call was made to Texas to another sister, and I was on the phone with family I never knew existed. Then, 12 hours after that, I got an email confirmation from a bio-half sister and VOILA! A whole new family!
Another group of folks that have been a godsend are the Masons. They keep very very good records as well. I have the ongoing elusive great grandfather, Clayton Bowden Duke Sr., and the only info I could find in California on him that wasn't census and voter registrations etc, was his name mentioned in the Pasadena newspaper about a big honor's get together held by the Pasadena Scottish Rite. Once again, Facebook message to the Pasadena Scottish Rite, and about 2 weeks later, records that confirmed membership along with a note of tranfer to San Gabriel, Ca. I'm yet to contact them, but Pasadena Scottish Rite was able to randomly help me with spousal info on a man who used to live in my house! He passed away and I found his education awards in my attic and wanted his family to have them. They saw my post, and gave me info. I live in Northern California, nowhere near Pasadena.
As much as Facebook is snubbed and petty, it has certainly become a very useful resource. I even was added to a DNA Duke group and have been able to connect and compare notes and exchange theories with the more open and willing family members. The "looking for" options are awesome, as well as the Search Angels who assist with more than just adoptee's, since many of them are genealogists.
Just a little thought to swish around that might help some of the folks struggling with the climb over their walls...