Sunday, October 22, 2017

Day Twenty-Two: A Quick Recap

It feels like I'm building momentum when I hit a stack of file folders which can be quickly dispatched into the recycling bin, but I have to remember it wasn't always like this in my Fall Cleanup project—and likely won't continue this way, either. I'm still in the "F" folder, but courtesy of my mother-in-law's maiden name—Flowers—and its many branches I've researched over the years, I'm, well, still in the "F" folder.

It was nice to toss the entire contents of today's file folder, which contained addresses and instructions for various early online resources for Flowers family history. Back during those earlier years of, several announcements came out regarding mailing lists for the Flowers line. Of course, back then in the 1990s, I was diligent to keep them all—not online, but printed and filed away in that folder for "F."

Now, those lists are antiquated, nearly ghost towns among the burgeoning new genealogy sites on Facebook. I didn't even need to think twice about whether I wanted to try and see if the addresses were still existent. My Flowers tree—with its many related lines—is so full of individual entries that it isn't even worth the time to ask myself such a question.

Meanwhile, it reminds me that today is my day to recap my research progress. I can't have managed to put too many new names on the four trees that I regularly tackle, considering how much time has been diverted to this Fall Cleanup exercise, but I still needed to take a look—even more so, keep track on my (now digital) tally sheets.

This becomes a reminder of how important it is to keep track of progress. No matter how fast or slow I work in each biweekly period, this reminds me that any work at all will equate to progress. And, when it comes to genealogical research, progress is all I ask.

So, how did things go on that Flowers line these past two weeks? With the exception of the DNA matches count at 23andMe (which always goes backwards, for some strange reason), I made progress. My mother-in-law's tree now has 12,822 people, including the eighty five person increase garnered in these past two weeks. My own mother's tree has 11,618—a similar increase of eighty nine. Even though my father's line has only 451 in the tree, I still managed to nudge that count up by one over the last two-week period. And my father-in-law's line also saw a small increase: eighteen more individuals, totaling 1,353.

Though the DNA matches for my family aren't under my direct control—it takes two to make a match, and I haven't yet figured out how to get a family member I don't yet know to take a DNA test—even there, I can see progress (well, with the exception of the retrograde 23andMe). I gained twenty six DNA matches at Family Tree DNA to total 2,459, while my husband gained seven to reach 1,568. At AncestryDNA, I gained twelve to total 753, and it was up nine for 367 for my husband. While yes, our numbers actually shrunk at 23andMe—mine by three to total 1152, and his by nine to reach 1,194—I'm more likely to cheer for upcoming holiday sales to boost the numbers at the other two companies than grumble about the disappearing cousins at 23andMe.

The main thing is to remember to find ways to encourage myself to continue the work. Whether for research progress in general or for specific tasks like this Fall Cleanup, even a little bit more at a time will, over the long run, yield progress.

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