Sunday, October 25, 2015
I Write, Therefore I . . . Think?
There are times when we have things all backwards. We presume some prerequisites to certain actions—which we may be entirely justified to assume—but then we go and do the whole thing in reverse order. Yet it seems to work out just fine, anyhow.
Take writing. If we took our grade school teachers seriously, we would unquestioningly first ply our scratch paper with thoughts in outline form before ever dreaming of letting our pens speak in real English. Never mind our brains never fit in such a box when formulating the first whiffs of a thought.
Perhaps that's why we doodle when we should have been doing those outlines. Our brains need gentle coaxing to come outside and play.
Perhaps that's why, like other bloggers, I sometimes find myself saying, "I don't know what I'm going to say until I start writing it."
Yesterday's post leads me to one of those instances. Honestly, I'm stuck on my Margaret Tully quandary. I have no idea where she disappeared to. The record trail isn't being very helpful, either. I've tried to stick with all the close relatives—you know, those obvious connections like siblings, since both parents seem to have dropped from sight by the early 1860s.
Perhaps being so regulated in my approach has hemmed that weary brain into confines too restricting. It needs the freedom to wonder, "What if..."
Blogging can sometimes be as therapeutic as journaling. A little free associating while writing can lead a wearied, stifled brain to greener pastures, where it can roam and, if thirsty, test the waters nearby.
the 1851 record, Mr. Flannery and his wife and children were listed on the same "West River Street" in the Paris enumeration as Margaret Tully's household.
Also on that same census page was another Tully family—that of John Tully, his wife and two daughters. We've spent some time, last year, attempting to trace their whereabouts after this 1851 census, as well. Keeping in mind this John Tully may also have been married to a Flannery (based on records I found in Ireland during my trip last year), it would be good to revisit their story, as well.
Perhaps, in following the trail of these more distant relatives as they again picked up and moved onward, we may uncover some record of where their possible niece—our missing Margaret Tully—may have moved, as well.
Perhaps, in realizing all these possibilities I've just reviewed, I need to remember, when stuck on a problem and unable to figure it out, just write my way out of the puzzle. Sometimes, just putting words to paper can ease those tangled thoughts and let them unravel and do the problem solving they were meant to do.
Above, left: partial list of names from the 1851 Canadian census for Paris, Brant County, Ontario (Canada West), showing the Denis Tully household at the top, followed on line twenty five by the Ed Flannery family, all under the heading, inserted here below, of the identifying address for the census page. Also following but not shown here: possible additional relatives, the John Tully family, on lines forty six through forty nine. Images courtesy Ancestry.com.