Sunday, April 5, 2020

Hurry up and Wait Meets Genealogy

This quarantine season has turned out to be a time of rushing and waiting—rushing, mostly, to get everything ready and in place in preparation to lay low and wait this disease out. Perhaps it is no surprise then, in looking at my research progress these past two weeks, to see some areas hit the skids. At a time like this, when so many businesses are closing (hopefully temporarily), there are few people for whom DNA tests are foremost in mind. Still, it was thanks to some key DNA matches that trickled in to our family's accounts this week that I've made some progress on the lines I've mostly neglected for the first part of this year.

Here's how the numbers stacked up for the past two weeks. On the trees which had seen no action—namely, my dad's tree and my father-in-law's tree—I got the most work done. For my dad, I added forty five names to bring his tree's total up to 713. And for my father-in-law, the addition of twenty five names put his tree at 1,713—and I know I have several more people yet to add there.

On the other hand, I didn't do so well with my mother's tree. Although her line is usually the one which generates the most DNA matches (something I attribute to her far-reaching roots in colonial America), no promising connections spurred me on this time. I only added a puny four names to her tree, which now stands at 20,661. However, on my mother-in-law's tree, I was able to add a whopping 341 individuals, so her tree now totals 18,368.

I was surprised to see how many I had added to those trees in the last two weeks, but I really shouldn't have been. In the doldrums of this coronavirus quarantine, things have been simultaneously crazily active and mind-numbingly dull. The creativity of keeping a training business afloat while not including any personal contact may have kept us tap dancing through our days, but the nervous energy generated the unquenchable need to fiddle with quick and mindless activities in the down time, thus becoming the perfect incentive to clean up my family trees. And we all know how spring cleaning of any type goes—you always find yet another thing that needs cleaning up while you are working on something else.

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