Thursday, October 24, 2019
In a Tailspin
It's back to that stage again in my research struggles: that feeling of going around in circles and not really making any progress. Of course, it took me six years of waiting before all these DNA matches showed up with a glimmer of hope of pinning my mystery grandfather's origin in someone's family tree. So when the path pulls up short—abruptly—and no further documentation can be found, well...patience. Just like a genealogical traffic jam, the stop and go research jerkiness will someday give way to a clearer road.
In the meantime, what to do? Given that surprise message the other day from a Giernatowski half a world away, I toyed with taking up that question further. That means, however, jumping from my paternal grandfather's research mess to my paternal grandmother's almost equally messy line. That, however, I can do with a bit more ease, as the Poznan region boasts three websites for research to the sole source I've been able to locate for Pomeranian records.
Yet, a search like that would not qualify as the thrill of the chase. It can be rather dull, scrolling through transcriptions of vital records—even if they are electronic versions. I scroll and scroll and spot a name, plug it into my family tree, note dates and associated surnames, and move on. Not much of a story there, even though I find it strangely relaxing to conjure up family history context out of chaos.
So, my research plan will continue to chatter away in the background, much the same as my work on my maternal line stretching back to colonial Virginia: I'm always plugging away at my goal in the background despite the project not providing any fodder for fascinating stories. It's just that, now, I'll add the mystery grandfather quest to my other dull and boring research tasks. In the meantime, the search is on for another story-worthy adventure in family history. There is always another story out there, just waiting to be unearthed.