It's always celebration-worthy to confirm a formerly missing branch of the family tree. Almost like finding an already-resolved brick wall we never knew we had, a newly-discovered family member calls for not only celebration, but lots of work.
In this week's case, I found enough evidence to convince me to add another son to the Perry County, Ohio, family of Michael and Apollonia Metzger. Granted, others had already been saying that Joseph belonged in that Metzger family tree, but no one had offered any documentation to convince me that was the right move. Now that I'm convinced, it's time to add Joseph—and all his descendants.
Remember, my goal is to add all the branches I find, including their descendants, so that I can easily place DNA matches from my husband's family onto his tree (and likewise do the same to my tree). Every two weeks, I check this progress. And today's result of that biweekly check shows an increase of 289 individuals in that tree, which now totals 28,186 individuals.
Of course, not all those extra 289 people are on account of Joseph's addition to the tree—but close. After all, Joseph would be brother to my husband's second great-grandfather and, just like his Catholic sibling, Joseph's was a family of many sons. Tracing each of these sons—and their multiple children—down to the present generation has added quite a few to this tree. Besides pursuing the documentation to confirm these additions, I also have the benefit of guidance with DNA matches, of which there are several to examine.
Even though my research focus this month has been on my mother-in-law's Metzger lines, I've managed to add a few details to my own tree, using this same process. In the past two weeks, I've added fifty four names to my mother's side of the family, simply by answering a message I received on Ancestry.com. That brings my own tree up to 28,493 people without even having a research focus on that side of the family this month. Developing a habit of adding changes to the tree when they happen—or when we discover them—can grow a tree quickly, too.
Despite nearly running out of month for resolving my research challenge for May, I'll still have a few more days to tackle yet one more missing son in the Michael Metzger tree. Hopefully, by the end of this month, discovery of more supporting documentation will allow me to add in yet another branch for this tree as well.