Tuesday, September 12, 2023

At the Trail's End


The positive aspect about plans is the way they keep us on the straight and narrow research trail in accomplishing goals. If you plan things like I do, though, there is usually more plan than month in which to complete it. This month, however, is quite the opposite. Though I've had good intentions, my plan to learn more about my father-in-law's great-grandparents, Denis Tully and Margaret Flannery, yielded me little.

Instead, I hit a snag: a detour into an entirely new branch of the Tully line. That unexpected turn came when I discovered Denis and Margaret may have had a son I never knew about. That son, also named Dennis, was the ancestor of more than eight DNA matches for my husband. This was someone I couldn't simply ignore. Never mind the lack of documentation, either back in his native Ireland or in his immigrant home in Ontario, Canada.

At this point, I've nearly completed as much as could be found on the many descendants of Dennis Tully and his wife, Margaret Hurley. In addition, I've linked those eight ThruLines DNA matches to my husband's tree and found three more matches within those at Ancestry.com. Since then, I've combed through his matches at three other companies: MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA, and 23 and Me. Through that research journey, I've confirmed at least one more DNA match at MyHeritage and am still watching for others.

Yet that original goal—to learn more about Dennis Tully's parents in the Tully and Flannery lines—has brought me no closer than I was when I started. With a little over half a month remaining, I've run out of plan before I've run out of time. I could jump ahead to my goal for October, moving into the last quarter of the year, which I usually devote to my own father's difficult-to-research Polish lines. Or I could try exploring another avenue which needs attention.

The down side to relying on monthly plans is that if those plans run short of month, I'm quite out of practice being spontaneous. Where is the allure of those rabbit trails when you need them to be beguiled? 

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