Sunday, January 26, 2020
Can't Count on Counting
When You Count on Lots of Work
It's been a busy week. No, make that a busy month. Thus, I wasn't too surprised, when it came time to count my research accomplishments for the past two weeks, to see I hadn't made much progress. I'm not too disappointed, though. Sometimes, the work we get done isn't the stuff on our regularly-planned to-do list. In my case during the past two weeks, some of my progress was definitely off the charts.
However, I still want to keep tabs. And so, though it will be no surprise to anyone, during the week I was away from town at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy—learning all about colonial Virginia research and scouring the Family History Library for clues—I only added twenty three names to my mother's family tree and zero to each of the family trees of my father and my husband's father. My husband's mother's tree, on the other hand, did gain an unexpected eighty two names—and not because of that wonderful reference book I found, but only because of the compounding result of finding just a couple obituary notices in that soon-to-disappear RootsWeb mailing list I subscribe to.
Still, that leaves me with 20,302 people in my mother's tree, 658 in my father's tree, 1,584 in my father-in-law's tree, and 17,381 in my mother-in-law's tree.
Those are still strong benchmarks to start off the research year. It's always encouraging—at least, for me—to see how those numbers grow over the years, simply by keeping at the task, week after week. I already know that my mom's tree will continue to grow, simply because of my current research goals. I know, too, that my mother-in-law's tree will grow, simply because the many distant cousins in her tree tended to have large families, and I can easily track many of them because of helps such as the RootsWeb Mailing Lists. (And even though those will soon disappear, I'll find new ways to connect with that active pool of family history researchers looking for their Perry County, Ohio, ancestors.)
As far as my father's forsaken tree goes, one look at my new DNA matches this week tells me there are new connections leading me back to the origin of that side of the family, so I'll have new "cousins" to start corresponding with. Hopefully, these new matches—especially at MyHeritage, where I have 103 in just the past two weeks—will be willing to corroborate with me so that we can help each other discover our origins. Likewise with my father-in-law's tree, where his 88 new MyHeritage matches look promising, and his Ancestry matches include at least three from Australia. Hmmm.
While learning new skills and resources is enticing, yes, it does displace time for my usual research routines, but in the end, even that new material will help accelerate my quest to find more ancestors. What I've learned about colonial Virginia might not have added to the count for this two-week sequence, but at some point, it will yield some encouraging new discoveries, as I look in places I'd never thought to search before.