Monday, April 1, 2024

Revisiting Elizabeth


With each new month comes a new research goal. As we move into April, though, not only is it time to introduce a new ancestor from my Twelve Most Wanted, but this month marks a shift from researching my mother's ancestors to a focus on those of my mother-in-law. This month, we'll be revisiting an ancestor we've met before, my mother-in-law's fourth great-grandmother Elizabeth Howard.

With the start of this April's project, we'll see those numbers I track in my biweekly counts shift, as well. For the past three months, I've made a lot of progress on my own mother's tree—adding 110 documented names to her tree in the last two weeks alone. But unless some unexpected discovery comes our way before next year, that tree will stand where I left it at the end of March: with 38,306 names of ancestors and their collateral lines and descendants.

That tree of my in-laws, which has remained stagnant at 34,186 names for almost half a year, will finally gain a few new additions. Granted, it was be more challenging to make progress at this point, for Elizabeth Howard was born in the mid-1700s—not a time particularly helpful for those of us looking for information on our female ancestors. Hers was a family living in colonial Maryland, and other than finding notes on the Howard family in various genealogical books of the past century, I have not found actual documents to allow much research progress.

Of course, that was last year. Now we have the FamilySearch Labs' new Full Text search capabilities, which I'm eager to put through its paces on behalf of the Howard family. That will help us move backwards in time, hopefully. As for the later years of Elizabeth's life, we had already gleaned a basic idea—but before we get started on this month's project, it might be helpful to review what we've already discovered from that work last year. We'll re-introduce Elizabeth tomorrow.

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