Thursday, June 3, 2021

It's Been a Long Time . . .


...since I last passed this way.

The Flowers and Ambrose family lines make up part of my mother-in-law's genealogy, but that doesn't mean I've kept the latest details constantly at my fingertips. That family history study was, far longer ago than I care to remember, one of my first research projects after becoming her daughter-in-law.

On her part as the interviewee in this process, my mother-in-law was certain that her ancestors had "just stepped off the boat" only about two generations prior to her own story. How far from the truth that turned out to be. While one of her grandfathers did descend from immigrant parents—who arrived from Switzerland before their 1849 marriage in Ohio—the rest of her family lines could be traced back, generation after generation, still in America.

The Flowers and Ambrose lines were such an example, stretching back to colonial times. I had, years ago, traced them the best I could, long before such conveniences as or the online version of what we now know as

Back then, all such research was eventually recorded on my pre-dawn-of-genealogical-civilization version of Family Tree Maker. As I do now, I included in that desktop-resident computerized record all the details on collateral lines in each generation, and then reached back down through the lines of all their descendants. When it came time to shed the desktop-resident (and antiquated) genealogy program, I transferred details to, step by agonizing step, so I could glean those valuable hints about digitized support documents.

That was then; this is now. Bottom line: now that I'm returning to my mother-in-law's Flowers and Ambrose lines, I'm realizing there was a lot of data I inadvertently left out.

How do you "inadvertently" leave out such critical data?

It's been back to the drawing board to reconstruct the many lines reaching through the generations to the double connection between the Ambrose family and the Flowers family—the marriages of the two Flowers brothers and Elizabeth and Susannah Ambrose.

In my mother-in-law's direct line, her second great-grandparents Joseph Flowers and Elizabeth Ambrose had at least five sons, the eldest two of whom were born in Pennsylvania. Those eldest Flowers children, of course, migrated to Perry County, Ohio, with their parents, where they were joined by the younger three sons.

What, to my dismay, turned out to be missing from this research project were the descendants for those other four lines besides my mother-in-law's direct line. Filling in these blanks will certainly add a large number of individuals to her tree, but it isn't the sheer numbers I'm seeking. This research policy enables me to connect the dots between those in her immediate family who have taken DNA tests and their matches.

While I retrace my steps from notes made on that antiquated desktop-resident program, in the background, I'll be systematically moving through each family line of Joseph and Elizabeth, adding their descendants to their rightful place in my online trees. Reviewing these notes has also reminded me of fellow researchers who, long ago, were pursuing these same surnames—some of whom are avid researchers whose writings remain online for further reference. You can be sure I'll be gleaning notes from these newly re-housed websites, as well.

The next task, though, will be to find a will for Elizabeth's and Susannah's father, which means probing for the possible location in Pennsylvania which was the sisters' last stop before migrating to Ohio in the early 1800s.

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