Sunday, May 7, 2017

Revisiting Old Trails

Sometimes, it pays to go back and review old notes, old projects, and other broken-down trails to the past in our family trees. Since I needed to update my progress again—yes, it's been another two weeks already—I thought I'd remediate those forsaken tasks.

For starters, this past week has not produced a banner run on research. For my maternal tree, I gained the same number of individuals as I had in the previous two weeks: fifty four.

Don't ask me how I planned that; I didn't.

That leaves my maternal tree at 9,890—still shy of that ten thousand mark I've already crossed for my husband's maternal line. Not that this is a competition or anything, but it seems so much easier to rack up the numbers, over on my mother-in-law's Catholic side of the family. Right now, that tree stands at 10,843, including the addition of sixty six names this past two weeks.

My paternal line...well, that didn't budge one bit. It has a miserable 403 names, same as it has had since March. Maybe someday.

On that Irish-roots line for my father-in-law, however, going back to review forsaken progress pays off well—at least, in some cases. Yesterday was my day for finding lots of leads, including finally identifying the other John Tully in our family, a relative I knew existed but could never find documented. I even knew he didn't live in Chicago with the rest of the Tully immigrants, but settled just across the state line in Hammond, Indiana. But I could never prove it—until this week, that is.

In cases like that, when it rains, it pours, as they say. Without hardly trying, that one lead opened the way to fill in a branch for several generations. I'm not yet done with that task, but have already added thirty one people. My father-in-law's tree now has 1,117 people, some of whom I fervently hope have decided to do their DNA test.

On the genetic genealogy side of the equation, I'm hoping the recent sale at the end of April will send more close matches our way. Not much has been happening on that end, lately, although I did have an interesting email from someone contacting me, for a change.

Even though follow through on contacting matches has been less than promising, the number of matches keeps inching upwards, thankfully. My husband's Family Tree DNA count is up thirty to 1,302 matches. Mine is up thirty seven to 2,025. AncestryDNA is also slowly moving upward, with nine more to total 261 for my husband, thirty eight more making mine a total of 566 matches. I'm still waiting for my results at 23andMe (six weeks and counting, tick, tick, tick). And my husband's match count is actually shrinking—now at 1,276, down nine from the last time I checked.

While it's not my policy to attempt connecting with distant cousin matches—I only send emails to matches at least at the second to fourth cousin range—I got a message from an AncestryDNA match estimated to be "good"—not "extremely high" or even just plain old "high"—at the range of fourth to sixth cousin. Merely "good" is highly unlikely to produce anything helpful on the paper trail, I thought—until I looked at the person's surname. Yep, that one will fly: an old colonial family whose surname intertwines with several others in my history for generations. It's nice to be able to exchange notes with someone keen on discovering these matches and seeing what else we can share about our mutual heritage.


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