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!