Thursday, January 29, 2015

Definition of Frustration

frustration [fruh-strey-shuh n] noun

1. when you get a new DNA match on ancestry and the match has no tree.

2. when your new DNA match has a tree and it is private.

3. when your DNA match has only two persons in their family tree

4. when your match has over 500 names in their tree and you still don't recognize any surnames.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tell the Story

Over ten years ago I published (self-published) my findings into a book for my family. I felt so proud of what I had done. Holding that book gave me such joy. It was a lot of hard work. Besides years of research,  I wrote, printed, bound, designed the cover--all on my own. But as anyone interested in genealogy knows, this work is never finished. It is always getting updated. So I have been laboring for the past year at putting out a new, updated yet incomplete book.

My goal is to finish by April this year. That is an arbitrary and necessary date. Otherwise, I would never stop writing and researching. Whatever I find after this book is published will have to go into another, updated yet incomplete book.

I have researched different print on demand companies but I haven't decided which one I will use. I may even try to self-publish again. I do like the control. Besides, my purpose for publishing my book is to relay and preserve history for my relatives. Money is not a goal or an issue. 

I firmly believe that every family historian should write the stories down. Oral traditions were great back in the day but we have advanced past then. It isn't important to be a great prize-winning author. It is more vital that what we have learned gets passed down to our descendants.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Brick Walls

I have been researching for nearly 20 years now. I have made great discoveries but I'm still stuck behind the proverbial brick wall. My brick wall is visual.

I know all my great grandparents' names. I even know most of my great-grandparents' names. And there it stops. Except for five names, I know little or nothing of my great great great grandparents. And therein lies my problem.

I was so excited when I got my DNA results back from I received all these wonderful matches. I even have two circles with shared ancestors. The problem was that those shared ancestors were already known to me. Yes, it did confirm that Charles Featherston was my great grandfather and that was nice. However, I was hoping for something more enlightening. And that won't come until I can figure out more about my great great great grandparents.

Unfortunately, the DNA results has also confirmed another assumption I had made. I am alone in my family when it comes to this pursuit. My closest relatives to have their DNA tested, except for my uncle, are distant 4th cousins. That means we share --you got it-- an unknown great great great grandparent.

So I will continue to scour the records as I try to chip away at that wall and I will continue to pray that more of my cousins, closer cousins, catch this genealogy bug. It could happen.

Once More With Feeling Again

I've been very bad at keeping up any blog lately. I am still researching every week. I still have the passion and the disappointments. It just seems that writing about it has become less of a priority.

At the beginning of every year I vow to write more and then the writing peters off. Sometimes it peters off because I'm doing rather than contemplating. I think this is a good thing. Sometimes I just don't write because I have nothing new to report.

So this year I will begin again. I will try again. The purpose for the blog has always been two-fold: to chronicle my research for myself and to help others who are interested in genealogy. Maybe if I keep those reasons uppermost in my mind, I won't slough off.

Here goes.