Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Ran Out of Month: Now What?


We all knew this would be a short month. Happens every year. Even those "bonus" years with an extra day still leave us feeling like we've been pulled up short. That's February for you.

That leaves me with far more research for my February goal than I have month to stash it in. That is nothing new when it comes to family history research. There is always more to find. Sometimes, the discoveries take us on detours or lead us to unexpected revelations. But when that happens in February, I make a mental note: in the future, leave month two of my Twelve Most Wanted plan for a slam-dunk proposition. Nothing difficult.

So...what to do with the leftovers of my quest to discover more about my Taliaferro roots?

For all the children of my fifth great-grandparents, Zachariah and Mary Boutwell Taliaferro, I'd like to fill in the blanks on their basic details. Birth, death, locations, name of spouse: all these help fix the identity of each child and keep me from confusing them with others of the same name and generation. Likewise, I'd do that for the previous generation: the children of Richard and Rose Berryman Taliaferro.

Along the way in this month's research journey, I found some other possibilities for future research. These come from wanting to learn more about the maternal lines in these generations. First, I'd go back to my fourth great-grandfather, also named Zachariah, to delve into the family history of his wife, Margaret Chew Carter. Both the Carter line and the Chew surname are rich with potential discoveries. I'd like to know more about these families and how my line connects there.

Then, too, I know very little about the senior Zachariah's wife, Mary Boutwell. I'll scout out the possibilities to see whether there is enough digitally-accessible material to merit a month's research focus for next year. Finally, Rose Berryman, wife of Richard Taliaferro, may be another research possibility.

This signals me to change my approach on selecting my Twelve Most Wanted for the upcoming year. Instead of saving that process for the peaceful, reflective time between Christmas and New Year when I usually tackle that question, I'll now make notes to refer back to, once I get to that end-of-year process in December.

In the meantime, as usual, I'll list the research questions I still need to tackle on my unfinished goal for this month. That list will serve as a tickler to refocus my attention, the next time I have an opportunity to revisit the Taliaferro family. With a new month upon us, though, it's time to move on to the next of my Twelve Most Wanted for 2023.

For tomorrow? Another research challenge.

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