Thursday, October 4, 2012

So…What’s Next?


Closing the door on a season was hard, but the next step may be harder: figuring out which project to tackle next.

Right now, I’m looking forward to three possibilities. One of them has a potential deadline as a price tag. One of them is a project I’ve always wanted to jump into, but time and circumstances just haven’t afforded me that luxury. And one of them simply fell in my lap when I wasn’t looking—and is now hollering at me from the shelf where I stuck it after my last vacation.

The first project—or rather, first set of projects—has to do with “First Families” designations. Years ago, I was told by a distant relative (met only through genealogical research) that I should qualify as a Florida Pioneer Descendant, courtesy of my mother’s McClellan line there. Granted, I’ve already known for years that my third great grandfather was a signer of the original Florida constitution. Following the procedure to achieve this designation is a formality that wouldn’t confirm anything I didn’t already know. But it would be a nice formality—as long as I can complete the application before the April 30 deadline.

A “First Families” project I’m more inclined to pursue is First Families of Ohio. This is part of the reason we visited Fort Wayne’s Allen County Public Library last summer. I am struggling with—no, suffering from—one vital but missing link standing in between me and claiming that prize on behalf of my husband’s family. I have been told, unofficially, by someone associated with the program that the piece of squishy documentation that makes me squirm in self-doubt may actually be quite acceptable. But only if I can get my act together before the December 31 deadline.

The second project—a dream for some, anathema to others—is to submit my application to become part of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Thanks once again to my mother’s maternal line, qualifying for this coveted designation is all over but the shouting. It’s just that small issue of completing the paperwork…

From that second project springs a third one. Courtesy of that midsummer stop at Fort Wayne, while desperately searching for that First Families of Ohio pre-1820 smoking gun, we stumbled upon some information that makes it appear that not only can I apply to the D. A. R. on my own behalf, but an ancestor in one of my husband’s lines may qualify, well, not my husband, exactly, but our daughter (once again)—and his sisters.

Ah, paperwork, paperwork!

And, as much as I know how everyone loves paperwork, I’ll be glad to share: I’ll keep all of you updated on my progress completing these three projects. Partly as accountability (please be my cheering section!). And partly in a quest to free the historic data that may be of help to other researchers. But mostly as guinea pig: see, you can do this, too!


Above right: Autumn in North America, 1856 oil on board, Frederic Edwin Church; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.

14 comments:

  1. Which project will make a difference to one of your Great Grandchildren? That is the one I would pick. I am going back to my husbands side of the family with photos and keepsakes much like you..I started last winter and had to quit for the summer. I am anxious to dig into it again:)

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    1. Which project will make a difference to my great grandchildren? That's a great way to see it!

      Yes, it is quite a task to digitize, record and store all those keepsakes, but I find it helpful to get in a routine and do a little bit every day. That's why the blogging mode was helpful to me. Of course, I understand you have extenuating circumstances when it comes to summertime...

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  2. (Ugh! Should have spell-checked before pressing publish the last time, hence the deleted comment.)

    Looking forward to watching your progress on these projects! Especially the Ohio First Families project, as I believe I could also qualify for that one. :)

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    1. Jana, that would be great to go through the Ohio First Families process together! Even though I'm so far away, I'd even like to attend the annual meeting where the designations are presented. I do, after all, still have family in Ohio!

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  3. I actually just signed and submitted my DAR application and started the process of applying to the First Families of Ohio (still have a ways to go though!).

    It really didn't take long at all to get the DAR application done, my chapter registrar did most of the work and I just proofed and signed it. All told it took about two weeks from when I contacting my registrar to get the ball rolling to when I signed the final application. If you want to know more about the process, let me know.

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    1. Thanks, Leah. I actually may take you up on the offer. Although I have heard that the chapter registrar is a great resource to utilize.

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  4. I'm here cheering you on. These are wonderful projects. Go Jacqi Go!

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    1. Wendy, I know you are going through the same DAR process somewhat ahead of me. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  5. Due to cicumstances beyond my control, my mother went to the Historical Society of Philadelphia's evening session on "Linage Societies" where apparently most of the ones you mentioned were discussed. The DAR apparently was originially intended to be a "pure blood" immigrant (I assume that means White Anglo Saxon Protestant) society that was reacting to "lesser people" immigrants (I think they meant Italians, Irish, and any eastern European country). Its not quite like that today (I hope!) but my mom and I both agree - whether she gets the application in and approved or not - the journey ... the finding out "who were are" and where "we came from" ... was not only well-worth the effort (and minor expense beyond our time), it might be far more important then the membership(s).

    What's important to my nephews and niece remains to be seen - but recently my oldest nephew has taken an active interest in not only family history, but history in general and may make it his college major. I'd like to think I had (very small) hand in that blooming curiousity... I think he's grasped "it's not the dates, it's the people!" (and as it turns out, a bunch of them were involved in a signiifant way when it comes to US history).

    I'll settle for that! :)

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    1. No, I'm sure it's not like that today, Iggy, but I'm aware the DAR has had a somewhat tainted past--which I don't intend to be associated with, either. I think their mission and goals today are admirable...and hey, as you said, it's the journey that is important at this point.

      So glad to hear about your nephew's interest in history. That's a subject I steered far clear of in my high school years, but just as you said, when I got it about the "not the dates, it's the people" truth of the matter, it definitely piqued my interest much more. Best wishes to your nephew as he pursues his college education.

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  6. I meant to type my mother went to the meeting without me.

    Stupid me, fell from a boat, grabbed a railing, dislocated a shoulder, drowned a cellphone and a hearing aid.

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    1. Oh, no! Ouch! Hope you are recovering okay!

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  7. You do remember that you have your very own personal registrar to get that DAR app completed???? No excuses for you now missy-thing!

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    1. Yes, bless you, Sheri! And when I am duly prepared with all the paperwork, I will come calling for a coffee date and consultation ;)

      Believe me, I can't wait...except for the fact I have some sticky messes to reconcile...hopefully nothing too insurmountable...just some undocumented name changes!

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