Escaping from the folders for "F" and "G" in my Fall Cleanup project was a significant accomplishment. The first surname I cut my teeth on, in those preemie online genealogical research years, was my mother-in-law's name: Flowers. Then followed the next surname, one in which I met and developed an online friendship with a fellow researcher seeking the same Gordon family as I. Oh, how much I had accumulated back then, when online research was new and everyone was reaching out and finding themselves in the digital ether. There was a lot to review, to assess, to toss or revamp.
Now free from those
"H" was a null set. Thankfully, no surnames of significance there. I got a free pass to the next letter in the alphabet.
"I" was for the Indiana.edu Listservs, complete with directions on how to access the conversations, how to subscribe to specific groups, and how to behave one's self with the new online etiquette. It's easy to see that made a quick leap into the recycling bin. After all, what could be so 1990s as a Listserv?
"J" was another free pass for me. That was before I discovered my paternal grandmother's mother was indeed a Jankowski. I'm glad I've since made that discovery, but for now, I'm ecstatic to be moving along in this cleanup project so quickly.
"K" was a folder with only one file, but the consequences for this file's topic could have been extensive, since my husband has not one, but two distinct Kelly families in his roots. However, the one file still remaining in the cabinet was for copies of all the obituaries received on the one Kelly family from Fort Wayne. I already know I have them transcribed into my desktop database, but I'll double-check for sure. Besides, I could be a conscientious volunteer and share them on their respective memorials at Find A Grave.
When I came to the file for "L," it slowed me in my tracks...slightly. Once again, I hadn't yet discovered all I've subsequently learned about my paternal side's Laskowski immigrants, so there was no folder drawn up for that name. However, the one file under that letter contained something I still may find useful: directions on how to navigate the old land grant records. The contents of the file were mainly copies of old articles by—there she was, again—Myra Vanderpool Gormley, posted on an old Prodigy "interactive personal services" bulletin board in the mid-1990s.
Lest you assume I'm finally on a roll—after all, there are still more folders to conquer than there are days remaining in the month—this juggernaut came to a screeching halt at the folder for "M." After all, a letter with this much magnetism sucks more than its fair share of content from any given topic. Of course, it doesn't help that one of the online newsletters of the time—which I had a strange compulsion to print and stash—was named Missing Links. While the file may be amply filled to bulging, though, I suspect it will easily be dispatched into the awaiting circular file.
Beyond that, hopefully it will be clear sailing through the rest of the alphabet, as the cabinet drawer is much more than half empty.
Or would that be half full?
About this cleaning duty, does that make me an optimist? Or a pessimist?
Above: "Early Snow," late 19th century painting by Ukrainian-born Russian artist, Konstantin Kryzhitsky; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.