Sunday, May 20, 2018

Every Little Bit Counts

Bereft of my constant-companion computer, I thought my research progress would come to a standstill this week, after BSOD Tuesday. I cringed to think what the numbers would look like this weekend, time for the biweekly recap.

Not so bad, it turned out. Even poking on a little keyboard on my travel laptop, progress can be made. Perhaps that discovery is yet another reason why this bi-weekly recap of research progress is valuable: it provides encouragement when I think I haven't done so well.

Besides the misfortune of losing my computer, there were more serious losses incurred these past two weeks. Not for me, directly, but for our extended family. In my father-in-law's extended family, two cousins passed away, only a few days apart. Reviewing those details led to bringing that side of the family tree up to date with newer additions to cousins' lines, thus bringing that family tree from a total of 1,425 people to 1,477, where it now stands, an increase of fifty two people.

Some changes happened in my own father's tree. While I added only eleven more people, it is quite rare for me to discover any new names to add to that family line. What brought about the change in this case was the discovery of a new-to-me Polish website with digitized versions of documents dating back beyond the mid 1800s, specific to the region where my father's family once lived in Poland. Now, my father's tree, once at 501, is now at 512 names.

Despite my computer woes, my mother's tree increased by eighty three people to now total 13,135 names, and my mother-in-law's tree jumped 215 people to total 15,296. I may have been bummed about unexpectedly losing my computer, but I'm quite reassured that I've been able to continue making progress on these projects, despite the technical outrage.

It's all about proactively finding those cousin matches before even receiving the DNA notifications. And those match notifications keep coming in, which keeps me hopping. I now have 3,046 cousin matches at Family Tree DNA, over one thousand at AncestryDNA, 1,009 at 23andMe, and 4,573 at MyHeritage.

My husband's matches are rolling in, as well. He has 1,943 matches at FTDNA, 570 at AncestryDNA, 1,038 at 23andMe, and 3,200 at MyHeritage. Some of those matches are already obvious, thanks to a pedigree chart that reaches out to include fourth cousins and closer on as many lines as possible. Sometimes, the letter to matches is just to say hi, cousin, as the connection is already mapped out for us, as it is at Ancestry. Other times, I can see I still need to do more work on some lines. And yes, there are still many, many more matches that simply just have me stumped.

Bit by bit, though, that family tree is seeing all those branches filled in. The closer we get to the real picture of everyone taking his or her place on the branches, the easier it will be to realize who those matches are, and how they relate to the bigger picture.

That, at least, is the hope behind this project.


  1. Good for you! I hope your computer was fixable...or the info on it retrievable!

    1. Well, we'll have to wait to see. Apparently, ours isn't the only one having problems...


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