Sunday, November 25, 2018


When I was a kid, enjoying the luxury of a four day Thanksgiving break from school, the worst feeling was to realize, at the close of the holiday, that I still had homework to finish before Monday.

Yesterday, one of the coordinators of our SLIG course on Advanced Southern Research and Resources emailed class participants our pre-class assignment. Yep. Homework. Thankfully, it is not due by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. We have all of December and the beginning of January to tackle this assignment.

Still, I couldn't help but remember that end-of-weekend feeling from so many years ago. Holidays and homework do not blend (though tell that to all those college professors expecting term papers handed in, right after returning to campus from a rushed trip home to a family turkey dinner three thousand miles away).

So, what is the challenge we classmates have to look forward to for the next eight weeks? It is a task akin to what SLIG instructor Anne Gillespie Mitchell has taught at RootsTech 2018: "Using Cluster Research to Understand Your Ancestors." In our case, the assignment won't be quite as exhaustive a search as outlined in the RootsTech presentation. We need to select one southern ancestor and trace that family through three census records, noting observations on a spreadsheet, keeping in mind the principles of cluster genealogy.

In my case, I may just tackle one: my McClellan family and their associated lines in Wellborn, Suwannee County in Floridathough I am tempted to make my encore be the Broyles and Taliaferro lines in South Carolina. Maybe both will be too ambitious. After all, I only have until January 13, 2019, to finish my homework.


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