Sunday, September 9, 2018
Keeping an Eye on the Goal
As much as I love delivering hundred-year-old family photos back to their rightful place—and we will return to that with a new episode tomorrow—behind the scenes, I am still chipping away at my own family mysteries. Still keeping my focus on my mother's southern lines, now that I'm home from my travels, I'm back at this project in earnest. After all, that SLIG class on southern research is drawing closer, and I want to be in the thick of things when it's time to pepper the instructor with questions.
Considering my return to work on this goal, it is likely no surprise to discover that, in the past two weeks, I've been able to add 236 names to my mother's family tree. Her tree now stands at 14,741 ancestors and related lines. I'm still working on the descendants from her McClellan ancestors, but after the Civil War, one branch had moved from their home in Florida to Texas, so I'm in a whole different kind of southern, now.
Despite my decision to focus my research on my mother's southern roots through next January, there are times in which I make a slight detour. In the past two weeks, that was again the case, only unlike the previous biweekly span, this time was owing to the discovery of the passing of a very distant relative on my mother-in-law's line. Thus, courtesy of a newly-discovered obituary, her tree expanded by thirty six people to total 15,703.
Wrapping up this two week period, it's no surprise to see that my dad's line is still stuck at 514—a number that likely won't change for a very long time—and my father-in-law's Irish-Chicago clan is still holding at 1,513.
I'm glad that the summer DNA sales at a number of the DNA companies will soon trickle down in the guise of an increased count in my DNA matches. Things have been progressing so slowly since the Father's Day sale wrapped up. It makes me wonder whether these companies have been conditioning their prospective customers to only buy when there is a sale. My match counts, as well as those for my husband, have increased by only a handful at each company in the past two weeks. And among those new names, most are distant cousins, at best.
Still, that's not to overlook the fact that AncestryDNA has quietly exceeded another ceiling, now having over ten million among those who have completed their DNA tests at Ancestry. And that's not to discount the thousands of DNA matches for which both I and my husband have already received notification. Furthermore, it's an encouraging sign for those I'm working with who are hoping to learn more about their family's past which has been obliterated by choices placing them in an uninformed position—unnamed parents whom they have never met are taking shape as real people, thanks to DNA, instead of the murky mysteries they previously had been. The more people who test, the greater the chance that these forsaken stories will be brought to light in the therapeutic way so desperately needed by those most impacted.
Meanwhile, besides these fun projects, I'm sticking to my goal: between now and my class in Salt Lake City in January, I'm working the southern angles on my mother's ancestry.