Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When It's Been Too Long

I love genealogical research, so it's no surprise to discover how time flies—after all, I've been having so much fun traipsing after my recalcitrant ancestors, I've hardly paid any attention to how much time I've devoted to the effort.

When I determined to use the time this week to go back and spruce up my genealogical database, I had no idea how long it had been since I last passed this way. There was a time—apparently longer ago than I care to remember—when I could keep it straight in my mind just who populated which lines in my family tree. Not so, anymore. After all, who can recall ten thousand family names? (And that's just for one side of the family.)

To my dismay, I discovered yesterday that the reason I can't remember as many names as I'd hope is that I haven't run across some of them for years. Perhaps decades.

I decided, since I've been so remiss in working on our family's two paternal lines, that I'd begin my genealogy clean-up with the lines of my father and my father-in-law. Call it penance, prompted by Father's Day.

Now that I've rolled up my sleeves and begun applying the elbow grease to this effort, I've made a discovery: when you've not only done genealogical research for years, but for decades, you miss all the new stuff that has popped up in the meantime.

Like the 1940 census. Oops.

Yes, it's been that long since I reviewed some of the branches of my father-in-law's tree. Even I was surprised to discover that. And if that was missing from my documentation, you can be sure there have been many other records which have since been digitized and added to the holdings at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org which I have yet to add to the people in my family's trees.

I have a long row to hoe, ahead of me.

Above: "Kahaluu, Kaneohe," oil on board by English-born American painter residing in Hawaii, Helen Thomas Dranga (1866 - 1927); courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. Keep that nose to the grindstone.
    I've been dragging my feet about DNA testing. So have been putting alot of time into educating myself. Today I reading the white papers from Anestry. I have a brickwall that I don't think it will help with but I'm getting closer to just doing it for the pure pleasure of new research avenues.

    1. You never know when it will help, Gayle, so if at all possible, you may as well give DNA testing a try. Besides, what if a distant cousin you don't know about holds the DNA answer you are waiting for? DNA matches will never know about each other until they do what it takes to become a match: test.


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