Saturday, October 16, 2010

SNGF: Where the Blame Lies

This week's Saturday night genealogy fun challenge is:

1) Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

* Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?

* Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?

* Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?

* If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

2) Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.
Now, I can honestly say that I'm the only one to blame for my own genealogy addiction.

When I began researching genealogy that I knew of no other relatives who had researched a single thing about our family. We had no school projects on genealogy. The only thing I knew is that my Mom had always wanted to know something more about her great grandfather Walton Harris. At the time I began researching, I was living in Cincinnati. I knew that it was one of the top genealogical libraries in the country. I just decided to try my hand at it -- a surprise for Mom. It didn't take me long to move to other branches of my family. I found more interesting lines and pursued those. I was shocked when I discovered New England ancestry. I'd grown up in Mississippi and never imagined that I'd discover ancestors in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. However, my New England ancestors are by far my most interesting ones. In those early years, when I got discouraged on a Southern brick wall, I'd always turn to my interesting New England ancestors which would put me back in the discovery phase and get me past the feeling of being defeated by a particularly difficult brick wall challenge.

I mentioned that when I started that I knew of no one else in the family who had researched the family. I did learn about some who had after I started. I learned that Mom and Nanny (Mom's mom) had gone to the courthouse in Pulaski, Tennessee (Giles County) only to be told that all the records had perished in a fire. I'm really not sure who they talked to, but there are quite a few records which did survive. They just found an unhelpful clerk on that date.

I also learned that Mom's Aunt Marie had researched the Lantz and Taylor lines fairly extensively. However, by the time I discovered this, I already had these lines well under way with much of the same documentation she had. I've never actually seen Aunt Marie's research, but her granddaughter has much of it, and I've corresponded with her.

Someone on the Thornton line had done a little bit of research too because the reunion booklet shows signs that some research was done, even though it was not documented. I'm still not sure who compiled the information in that older booklet, but I do know that Dad's first cousin took it and researched some more -- as did I.

I later found another Hester researcher who had more information on descendants of other branches than I did. (Of course, I was able to help her get forward on some of the ones she didn't have as well fleshed-out.)

However, I was addicted before I made the discoveries of other researchers -- and I have no one to blame for myself!