Monday, September 25, 2023

On to the Next


It sometimes seems like a sprint, running through the generations of my family tree—until you add the hazards of DNA testing, which transforms this race into an obstacle course. Adding nicknames or initials to the mix with enigmatic DNA match labels—and then, even further, mixing in a missing generation with the name of a surely deceased grandparent withheld for "privacy" reasons—and it seems the task will never be completed.

But it is—at least for my end-of-month goal to connect all the ThruLines descendants of my fourth great-grandfather Aaron Broyles to their proper place in my family tree. That was just the start, though. I've managed to finish all of the Broyles listings for the siblings of my third great-grandfather, Oze R. Broyles—including a DNA match linking me to the Civil War diarist Emmala Reed.

With only one more week left to wrap up this month's research, though, I'll need to move on to the next ThruLines ancestor quickly. This time, I'll reach back to the second ancestor I had selected for my Twelve Most Wanted this year. Again, the focus will be on another fourth great-grandfather.

As fast as I can work on it, I'll be examining the ThruLines connections to Zachariah Taliaferro, namesake son of my D.A.R. Patriot. True, that work will entangle me with over sixty DNA matches. At the rate I've been going—about one DNA match confirmed through documentation per day—that seems more the work of two full months than one week, but at least I'll get the project going. You can't ever finish unless you first start, no matter how big the task may be.

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