Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Halfway Mark

We're now into the month of July. For those who are counting—and I, with my bi-weekly tabulations for purposes of my DNA testing projects, am one of them—we've covered half a year's time when we crossed the last day of June off the calendar for 2017. For those with a financial bent, that means we've just closed out the second quarter. For those poli-sci majors still working at Starbucks, that means the state and local government jurisdictions have just stepped into a fresh fiscal year. And for those of you who really need to keep tabs on things, that means there are only one hundred seventy five shopping days left until Christmas.

As for my genealogical corner of the world, my intended goal in putting numbers on my research progress was to make that progress—or lack of it—more visible. Thus, I can now stand up and shout to the world that, in the past six months, I've added 1,254 names to my mother's family tree—with 201 in the last two weeks alone. That means my total count in my maternal tree is now 10,559 people. It's been that slow, steady chipping away at the details which has brought the overall progress.

The same goes for my mother-in-law's family tree—although truth be told, hers is the easiest of all my family's lines to research. In the past six months, I've been able to add 2,306 individuals to that line, including the 318 just put in over the past two weeks. Her tree's total now stands at 11,829. It looks impressive, but remember: it all happened gradually by working a bit at a time, steadily, over the weeks and months.

Even those trees which have given me difficulties—I'm thinking of our two paternal lines here—have managed to make some progress. On my father's near-impossible line, over the last six months, I've at least been able to find sixty four names to add to his tree. And for my father-in-law's family tree, this year has led me to an additional 168 entries—sixty one of them in the past two weeks. Not bad for "brick walls."

While it may seem impressive to zoom ahead in spurts with that family tree work, if you are only able to make a modest amount of progress—but can keep up the pace through consistent effort and regular work times—you are still doing a good work. Besides, since your slower pace will inoculate you from the burn out that comes from such flashy speed, you will likely endure much longer and, in the end, have noticeably more to show for your effort.


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