Sunday, June 24, 2018
Review and To-Do
Every now and then, I find it helpful to go back and review all my family trees.
Yes, that's plural—trees—as I've built separate trees for my mother's line, my father's line, my mother-in-law's line, my father-in-law's line, and then, as if that weren't enough, I've added some other trees that are tangentially related to me through others in my family.
Some of these trees I haven't worked on for years. Others, I've been working away on behind the scenes, while on A Family Tapestry I've talked about everything except the research progress I've made.
For those branches which haven't seen the (research) light of day in many months, I find it helpful to go back and check for newly-added resources. With record sets constantly being digitized and added to the resources at Ancestry, FamilySearch, and other go-to genealogy sites, it is well worth the effort to periodically review what else might become available to fill in the blanks for those ancestors already laid down in the database.
I go back and check my archived newspaper subscription sites for more entries on names in my databases. I do Google searches on the names in my trees, especially those family members from the last 150 years. I look for century-old county history books which have been digitized on sites like Internet Archive or HathiTrust to see if any of my ancestors have been mentioned in their pages.
Of course, the hints mechanism on Ancestry.com is constantly adding new material for me to check, as well. Many times, the details are repeats of material I already know about, but other times, new record sets are added with helpful explanations. I like to be able to paint a detailed picture about each ancestor's life. Obituaries, newspaper mentions, awards, school recognitions, and other minor treasures add to the story.
As I move through the constant stream of additional tidbits, each detail becomes something to add to my research to-do list. While it might seem that that list should be shrinking as I work through it, that is not the case—at least in genealogy. While I make progress by diligent and regular times of research, the additional discoveries always lead to more questions—and thus, more directions to be added to that list.
Now that my photo project is coming to a close with the picture of the couple from Guelph, Ontario—I'll get back to wrapping that one up on Monday—it's time to head back to the research stories I've found in the meantime. The research stories and their auxiliary to-do lists, that is.
There is, for instance, the story of the first Anglo-American baby girl born in San Antonio, who throughout her life held the unusual distinction, as a lifelong resident of that city, of being older than the state of Texas.
And then, thanks to a DNA match with a McClellan relative, I've renewed my efforts to push some of my brick wall ancestors' records another generation back in time. That has led to discovering that one branch in that line leads back to a Revolutionary War Patriot. Time for work on a D.A.R. supplemental application.
With items like that, the to-do list keeps growing, not shrinking. Despite all the work I do regularly on growing my family trees—and the review that demands, just in order to keep up with new resources—the more I do, the more is still left to tackle on the next research session.