Sunday, August 23, 2020

Progress Despite Disaster


What a week it has been around here! I hardly expected to see any progress made in my biweekly research report, owing mostly to the nearby fires this past week, but also to other personal issues. There are times—at least for a genealogy fanatic—when, despite the turmoil, it is just relaxing to sit down and mindlessly clean up one's family tree. Think of it like some people use knitting to get through a storm. However, I can't say whether that was the charm that worked these past two weeks.

Still, I was surprised to see I had added 119 names to my mother's tree, bringing its overall size to 23,088 individual names with supporting documentation. I must have done a bit more mindless poking around than I thought I did.

Another surprise in this biweekly tally was to discover one of my other trees actually went backwards. I know I haven't been working as hard as I could on my mother-in-law's family tree, but to see it shrink was the last thing I expected. Yet, that's what happened: the tree now has 19,103 individuals, owing to the disappearance of one person. Don't be so quick to blame the website host for that tree——as the disappearance was most likely due to combining two individual entries into one. My mother-in-law's family is good for that. I don't label her tree "endogamy-lite" for nothing. There's always a bit more housekeeping to do on those duplicate entries.

Shrinking family trees aside, perhaps that missing entry ended up in another tree I haven't touched for ages: my father's tree. There, I inadvertently added one additional person, which means my dad's tree now has 716 people in it. If I remember correctly, I was following up on a DNA match question about that line, when I realized I hadn't entered a cousin. Making that correction set everything right again in our paternal world.

All that progress aside, my father-in-law's tree didn't budge from the count it's held at for months: 1,812 individuals. And yet, that is the tree on which I worked the hardest in the past two weeks. As I suspected the last time I discussed this stalemate, some research problems require us to put in a lot of work, and yet, the end result may still be one great big, round zero. Searching does not always equate with finding, especially when it comes to old records.

Assuming life gets back to normal in the next month—who am I kidding here?—I'll still be plugging along with those research goals, following through with DNA matches, adding cousins to my mother's line, and seeking the roots for my husband's second great grandparents, the Kellys and Falveys in County Kerry, Ireland. But even if things don't settle back down entirely, it is apparently so that a little work can still be accomplished, even in the face of turmoil and angst.

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