Sunday, December 31, 2023

Ancestor #6: The Whole Metzger Mess


One of the pluses of annually repeating the research process of selecting my Twelve Most Wanted for the upcoming year is that I can revisit unfinished business. When it comes to my mother-in-law's Metzger family, we have been down that trail before: two years ago, we tackled the line of her second great-grandfather, Michael Metzger.

Michael was born in 1783 in Germany—or maybe Switzerland. Even though I tackled the records on this immigrant's life two years ago, by the end of the month's research, I was still stuck on several details. I knew that going in, though, having labeled my introduction as "A Messy Goal" right at the start. By the end of that month, having discovered three additional children of Michael and his wife Apollonia, I had to concede I was closing out the month's research goal without finding the answers to all the questions which popped up along the way. Yep, messy.

My task for tackling this last of my mother-in-law's ancestors for 2024 is simply to pick up where I left off in 2022. I'll be reviewing what I completed in that last quest, using that as a springboard to catapult into the big middle of the mess. A key part of this month's research will be to look for any Metzger DNA matches who descend from that one surprise son of Michael, a man known either as John or Johann Metzger of Indiana. That DNA exploration, of course, will involve building a descendancy chart for that one tentative branch of our Metzger family.

While we all have squared off with research challenges which, at the end of the designated time period, still seem as intractable as they were at the beginning, the key is to revisit the question at a later date—and to bring along fresh eyes when examining the mess we had left behind. That will be my task when we review the unfinished business for the immigrant family of Michael and Apollonia Metzger of Perry County, Ohio.

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