The heat wave is gone. The smoke is gone. Even the clouds that we couldn't see, hidden above the smoke, are gone. The sun is out, and suddenly, I can think more clearly again. Perhaps fall being just a couple days away isn't such a bad thing, after all.
In the meantime, what do I have to complain about? It's time for my biweekly research checkup, and it turns out that being cooped up indoors with two air filters running constantly (in addition to my air conditioner) has a positive side: I got a lot more genealogical busy work done than I had counted on.
Let's see: 234 names added to my mother's tree, and another sixty to my mother-in-law's tree. I even managed to add one more name to my father-in-law's tree, although it was a speculation calculated to induce Ancestry's Thru-Lines to come up with some relationship suggestions. I am, after all, still stumped with my father-in-law's great-grandparents, John Kelly and Johanna Falvey; I'll try every DNA match trick I can find.
The extra sixty names added to my mother-in-law's tree was penance done over my realization, two weeks ago, that I haven't been evenly distributing my research duties among the four family trees I'm constructing—so I deliberately chose to allot some time this past week specifically to spruce up her tree. And it helps to know I am attending to a variety of branches that need attention.
Even though my most recent research project is technically aligned with my father-in-law's tree, that's precisely where I am stuck. No forward motion means no progress, and thus no increasing numbers, despite hours and hours of work. I'm on the verge of putting a hold on the project and waiting until someone unearths more Irish documents that include our County Kerry kin. But I'll hold fast on this challenge for one more sequence.
Though it is really completeness and thorough research that we are after, it does help to keep tabs on tallies. It does show that we are making progress—something which, in and of itself, can encourage further forward movement. That said, right now, my mom's tree includes documentation for 23,384 individuals. My mother-in-law's tree is nearly as robust, including 19,163. While my father's tree is still tiny, at 716 names, and my father-in-law's tree has only 1,813, there will be a time scheduled this fall to focus specifically on those branches. There are some DNA matches waiting in the wings to be carefully considered and entered in their rightful place in the extended family diagram. After all, we wouldn't want a lopsided family tree, all focused on only one branch.