Well, here I am, tentatively peeking out from under the Covid covers to survey the damages of a very rocky two weeks past. It's great to set out a research schedule that's full speed ahead for family history, but is probably wiser to build in a Plan B for the inevitable down time that comes with the ills of winter.
Incredibly, all was not lost while spending a "captivating" two weeks of recuperation. It wasn't the virus itself, per se, which knocked me flat, but the repercussions. However, while I was too exhausted to get up and do anything, I discovered my restless mind could only cope with the inactivity if I grabbed my lightest laptop computer and pieced together collateral lines and DNA matches while flat on my back.
Talk about desperation. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the malaise, I opened up my mother-in-law's tree of multiple generations of solid Catholic families and added the descendants of each collateral line. At my last count—skipping one of my customary biweekly rounds completely, thanks to Covid—the tree she is in held 25,124 individuals. Not any more. In mindless but rapid succession over the past two weeks, I managed to add 979 of her relatives—all duly documented via records at Ancestry.com, and many now connected to my husband's DNA matches—to bring that tree's count up to 26,103 people.
And was grateful for the diversion.
My own tree didn't fare too badly, either, though most of the collateral lines there come with far more struggles. Still, I managed—at least since the last count almost a month ago—to squeak out fifteen additional entries, to bring my tree up to 27,285 people.
The struggle in my own tree is mainly due to the research challenge I had selected for my January goal: to explore the wider realm of historical records and reports for the areas where my fourth great-grandfather Job Tison once lived. That research, by necessity, came to a screeching halt the minute the Covid fever hit, two and a half weeks ago. Though I had already gathered some links to online resources for upcoming posts, the requisite comprehension power to follow through with that just wasn't something to be tackled at quite the same level of effort as simply adding yet another dozen kids to a good Catholic family's tree might have been.
The best approach I've found, when scheduling requires such a shift, is to make note of how far I've progressed, what has already been accomplished, and the remaining steps to tackle the next time I revisit the research problem. Family history research is often a cyclical process, at least in my experience. Sometimes we are limited by the availability of accessible records, or the foundational knowledge from which to make that leap of discovery. I'll take the next week to wrap up material I did uncover—but have not yet written about—then construct a to-do list for the next time I visit this issue. Perhaps, by then, it will be safer to venture out and actually research this ancestor in person, following the same paths he once walked, himself.
In the meantime, before we transition from the last notes on Job Tison to exploring another ancestor's mysteries, I do want to express my thanks for the encouraging comments and emails sent and prayers offered on my behalf over the past two weeks. Genealogists—and genealogy bloggers and followers—are some of the most caring people I know. It is a privilege to count you as friends.