In this lull following the celebration of Christmas, I've long learned to use this quiet time to assemble my thoughts and plans for the upcoming year. This includes my hopes for the upcoming research year, in particular my goals for tackling the research puzzles which have kept me stumped.
A couple years ago, I borrowed from the age-old custom of celebrating the twelve days of Christmas, and have since re-purposed that set of days between Christmas and Epiphany to outline my plans for learning more about what I call my "Twelve Most Wanted" in my family tree. Sometimes, those Twelve Most Wanted are direct ancestors holding a place in our family's pedigree charts, but other times, I've chosen to follow a collateral line, or even a friend of the family.
The system of selecting those twelve is simple. For each month, I designate a different individual to research, based on a rotation through both mine and my husband's maternal and paternal branches. For the first quarter of the year, I select one ancestor from my mother's family for each month. For the second quarter, the same process is repeated, only this time, selected from my mother-in-law's family tree. For the summer months, I move to my father-in-law's pedigree to research three of his ancestors. And as we approach the end of the year, I tackle the difficult prospect of researching my father's Polish ancestry.
That said, the process begins again for a new year with today's selection. Usually that choice is made easy by the fact that I always have attended an in-depth training class in January at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, but this year will be different: not only has the SLIG winter term reverted its plans to virtual classes only, but I hadn't registered for any of the sessions. However, I'm missing my annual research trips to Salt Lake City so much that I'm hoping to return for an independent research project, possibly with a friend.
There is one branch of my mother's line which has been a longstanding brick wall for me: the line which I can push back no farther than the life of my fourth great-grandfather, Job Tison. I know he died in Glynn County, Georgia, in 1824, and that years earlier, he likely moved there from somewhere in North Carolina. But where? And who were his parents? Besides, what brought him to Georgia?
These are the type of research questions which require sitting down with some source material likely not found online. Hence, my hope to pursue these questions at a research library. Depending on the safety status of air travel in January, I may still be able to avail myself of such resources.
If not, I've got a "Plan B" to gather as much background information on the man's whereabouts and search for general information on the locations where he once lived. No matter which way the pandemic winds its way into our future, my goal will be to further understand the life and times of my fourth great-grandfather Job Tison.