The better part of the past eight months was spent riveted on just one research goal: the saga of my southern roots. Specifically, the goal was to complete as much of the George McClellan lineage in northern Florida as could possibly be attained before two things happened. One was to attend the Southern Research course this past January at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The other was my research trip to northern Florida, home of that third great grandfather—and, apparently, at least his father and a few other siblings.
Research being research, a project's end date does not mean the project itself has been completed. Oh, no, think again. That end date simply means we gather up what we've achieved, review the findings, and then move on to a new next step. There is always a next step. In research, answering one question only means the researcher is left with more questions to answer.
And so it was with the McClellan journey. I went, seeking what else could be found about George McClellan, and came back, having met a fifth cousin from a line I wasn't even aware of. I'm working through vetting that research since arriving back home—descendants and all.
I went, wondering what else could be found about a family story of an unnamed former slave and his mother, walked the cemetery where that woman's unmarked grave may likely lie, and returned, more determined than ever to trace that line in both directions—both to the current day and my DNA match (maybe more than one), and back to the past, from where this mother and son originated.
I may have been naive to think that my original McClellan goal could have been completed in less than a year. Now, all I can say for that attempt is: look at all the work it has brought me! In setting the next research goals, I hesitate to place a time frame on the project, now realizing that every discovery leads to many more questions. For now, though, here are my questions:
- Can any documents be found in the county of origin—now targeting Glynn County, Georgia—to provide a list of slaves inherited by Job Tison's daughter Sidney, either before or after her marriage to George McClellan?
- Can comparison of DNA test results between matches linking McClellan and/or Tison descendants with Stockton descendants lead us to indications of King Stockton's mother's parentage?
- Can the ever-burgeoning descendancy chart for Charles and Elizabeth McClellan (George's parents) actually be completed?
These, in the main, are my research concerns. They seem to be so laser-focused on the same project that I wonder whether I'll weary of working with only this one line—suffering a sort of surname fatigue. There are, after all, many other lines in my family's heritage—some of which are likely screaming for attention. I'm not sure I can stand to neglect progress on these other lines for the sameness of a McClellan 2019.
Still, I can't stand not answering research questions. For the foreseeable future—at least until I get stuck, come up empty-handed after diving for long-buried records, or can't just launch into another cross-continental research journey in the same year—this is where I'll spend my time.
Hopefully, some answers will start surfacing, soon.