Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Resolve Not to Resolve

I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. Most of them are broken in the first week or so. I do sometimes set goals, but I learned a long time ago that my genealogy goals are long-term rather than short-term, and I've had so many unexpected obstacles that I'm even hesitant to make anything a one-year goal.

What did I accomplish last year? I uncovered Agnes Thornton's maiden name. That had been a dead-end for awhile. I've also found a marriage location for Richard Thornton to Agnes through this. I have a "date" the marriage is said to have occurred; however, I still need a better source for this date. I'm not stupid enough to think I'll find that source in one year when it took several years to find Agnes' maiden name! This family liked to burn courthouses to cover up their history (or at least it seems that way).

I indexed over 9000 10,000 records for I'd hoped to do at least 10,000, but family health issues and the busyness of the holidays has kept me from doing as much the last couple of months as I'd wanted to do. I reached this "goal" on December 31.

I've made some progress in entering a backlog of previous research into my database; however, I keep adding to the pile! LOL Actually, I'm doing pretty good at keeping up with information on the lines I'm trying to focus on (my New England maternal lines); however, I have information collected on lines which are not my current research focus (primarily the Thornton line) that have some "backlog" building up. I actually accumulated a lot of the research myself because of contact with some of the lines with whom my brother's DNA matched. Most of what I collected was research in the county in which I work because a line that had lived in that county matched. Some of it was accumulated by a cousin who lives closer to where one of these lines settled. I'm less concerned with getting the North Carolina line that matched into the database because the individual who researched it was a historian who documented what he did and he sent me his self-published book on his research. It's not that I'm not interested in researching these lines -- I've just got to prepare for my New England trip, and getting those lines in the best shape possible will help me be more focused and productive when I get there.

I've made significant progress on many of my New England lines. This has largely been because of Google Books. I take what I find and search for more or note resources that I need to examine when I go to New England.

This brings me to my biggest genealogical plan for 2008. I have a library conference in Boston in June. It is my intention to go to Boston one week early and stay an extra day and a half (or maybe even two days) so that I'm in the area for at least two weeks. During the extra days, I want to do research at NEHGS and other repositories and visit some of the places my ancestors lived. I'd also like to do a few touristy things. I know that I don't have time to visit all the places my ancestors lived. (I plan to save Block Island for a separate trip.) I really want to make at least a day trip to Hampton, New Hampshire. I'd also like to go to the present town of Essex, Massachusetts which used to be Ipswich's Chebacco Parish. I've got several other places I want to be a tourist, some of which also figure into my family's heritage. I haven't worked out all my weekends yet. One of the reasons is because I know that the conference will be organizing some pre-conference and post-conference tours. If some of my destinations are on their list, I may go with a group of my friends instead of doing it alone.

I'm not going to plan any further than that because I know I'll be preparing for a couple of future conferences which may consume some of my normal research time; however, I know that I'll sneak some research in! I always manage somehow.

This article is submitted for the 39th Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

Update (12/31): I thought of one more thing I researched last year. A new index to was available which allowed me to know some of the names in some of the probate files at the Monroe County, Mississippi Chancery Clerk's office. I spotted my elusive "W. D. Phillips" on some of the records. I was hoping that some of them would give me some insight into his father. What I discovered, however, after copying a rather huge file was that the file that would have given me the greatest insight into his identity was not him but another W.D. who apparently also lived in the area. The files pertaining to the estate of John E. Fowlkes were, of course, the correct W.D. because he is mentioned as the husband of John E.'s daughter Mary Elizabeth. My W.D. is William David Phillips. The W.D. in chancery case 3195 is William Dennis and was married to a P.J. and is younger than my W.D. There is also a David (or D.M.) Phillips in the county who appears in the Harmony Church records and appears to have married a Sallie from the tombstones in the Hatley Cemetery. There are two Sarah Phillips mentioned in the Harmony Church records. There is a female M.E. Phillips in the Harmony Church records who could be my Mary Elizabeth Fowlkes Phillips. I need to go to Jackson and get his Civil War file to see if it yields any clue to his identity. He just kind of "appears" in Monroe County in the 1860 Monroe County census residing in the household of his future father-in-law. I've seen him in records as late as 1866 or 1867 - and then he kind of disappears. I can't find him, Mary Elizabeth or daughter Jennie (aka Lucinda Virginia) in the 1870 census unless they are the W.H. and Mary listed as a couple without any children mentioned. (In the 1880 census, there is a W.H. the same age who is married to a Martha, slightly older.) Since Jennie was born in 1865, you wonder where she is if that is them. Jennie is enumerated in the George Tubb household in 1880.

Labels: , , ,


  • I think 9,000 records is huge! The Boston trip sounds like fun. I plan to travel for research every year but it rarely works out. Good luck locking down the marriage date.

    By Blogger Apple, at 8:26 AM  

  • Congratulations on indexing 10,000 records! That's a tremendous accomplishment!

    Happy New Year!

    By Blogger Lee, at 5:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home