Friday, September 26, 2014

Nothing Comes Easy

The best fruit is borne through hard work.  For some reason, it always an take extra effort to produce excellence.  This is especially through for the genealogist who spends years attempting to resolve small issues so that the puzzle will fit for the next piece. This labor of love requires sleuthing in some peculiar places, like your aunt's attic.  Also, in digging into old court house records... in every corner.  Records which might not appear to be parts of the puzzle might be copied and later viewing....I mean, perhaps years later.  Our notes and comments should be preserved. Genealogy is a "thinking" puzzle, always inside the head attempting to find solutions to difficult issues. These days I spend a great deal of time reading wills and estates of possible 2nd and 3rd cousins in the lineage, trying to understand the connections. This method does enhance my perception of what was going on with these troublesome ancestors.  Because, you see, if you understand the issues of each generation, given the historical setting (such as wars, etc.), then the results of the sleuthing improves.  Sometimes the naming of children is a clue.  For example, a traditional naming would give the first-born son the combined names of the mother and father.  Example: William Henry.  One thing to look for is a surname given as a first name.  These names were more often relatives than not.  An examination of the court house records where the family resided might turn up some interesting facts about the families having that surname.  What I am saying is that you have to know the people of that time and place.  Remote farms and plantations, tiny communities, low populations are all pluses for this sort of research.  You can bet your bottom dollar that you ancestor was friendly with local ministers, physicians, storekeepers and farmers and that their names appeared in his land purchases, marriages, estates, and so on.  They administered wills, appraised estates, held sales, and married the daughters.
From the 16th century to present times, people have traveled extensively to find their dreams.

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