Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Do you Collect Data, Maybe Not Related?

So do you collect data, maybe not related in your  research?  Do you catalog it and keep it for potential use down the road.

Thinking one of the neatest things genealogy and history researchers can use is the collecting of surnames that are the same as yours but your not sure how they may fit.

Of course, to do this one must have been at it for some period of time.  Having started research long before a computer was heard of except in a large room for a company, and libraries and letters and reading sources were the dominate way to collect potential answers to one's problems.

Having read near every book in the history section of the old Petaluma, Ca library in the late 1950's and through to the early 1960's. Collecting seemed to be the thing to do.

Many moves and events later, I seriously got into personal family research, helping my Mom.  She used to have me help her label and sort data she received from her family throughout the midwest because we lived in Northern California a long ways from family.

Sad to say the government lost a box of critical research, letters that my Great Grandmother and I had shared since I was about 10 years old..She was an Eastman, her mother was a Trowbridge.  Great Grandma was well aware of the linking to the EASTMAN Kodak group in her lineage.  She had shared many family stories in those letters.  One of key interest was the white ancestress that married an Indian of prestige and had to move away to keep peace in the tribe, not wanting a white woman married to the future Chief of the tribe. Since it was her immediate kin in first hand writing it would have carried a great weight today. His brother took on the Chief duties. Yes, I found them but those letters would have held much weight.

It seems after that experience, I have collected data on surnames I am related to but not sure how.  Ironically, I have found links after many years to lots of those lines. Filling in more blanks.

Family Search is out to make a giant family tree. Is it going to work?  For their sake I hope so, but I am not sure it will happen any where near my life time.

January is the month suggested by me to review your past research to see if you have found the empty spots. I also encourage you to review your work in the fall.

Family History Month is coming up quickly and it might be a good time to consider review.

One day I may find another kin who has the information that the movers lost and never found.

Obviously DNA and MTDNA will help us along the way but nothing like those hand written letters written by a lady born in 1874 and died in 1958.

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