Winter Greetings from the End of the World…

If the snow fall is light, it doesn’t last long in my yard–1/4 acre of grass and trees, including a gigantic elm tree with a big round trunk.

This magnificent elm goes schloughffffff!  And the snow disappears all around the tree.  The other elms, ashes, and flowering bushes, including my Magdalene Rose, have to fight for their snow.  So it takes a bbbiiiggg snow to cover my yard for any length of time.

Actually, I live in what used to be desert country.  Less than 7 inches of rainfall were normal.  But times are different and if we don’t get at least 20 inches of water per year, we feel deprived.

Deep snow keeps the high school kids from using my yard as a cut-through.  Going around the sidewalk, even plowed, does not seem human!  We all cut corners.  And since I live on the corner, my yard is a cut-through.

And even my presence, working in the yard, does not halt the traffic.  They politely say, “Hello,” and continue on their “cut-the-corners” march.

Cutting corners is a problem in a lot of things, including your genealogy.  Tempting as it is to work faster and farther quickly, please concentrate and focus on the whole project.  Whole source.  Whole record, including the signature area at the bottom of the page.  The whole family unit–father, mother, and all the kids.  Whole pedigree context from which you single out the family or group of families you plan to work on.  Or assign to me to trace for you.

Watch carefully the intersections where your ancestors meet up, form a new family group, and move on their way through life.  Too much time is spent looking in the wrong set of records or in the wrong part of the world for the marriage!

Our ancestors moved around a lot!

  1. Marching in the army.
  2. Crossing the ocean.
  3. Looking for Gold.
  4. Following the river.
  5. Attending auctions and revivals and funerals and weddings.
  6. Filling courtrooms.
  7. Heing and sheing along the way.

Have you examined the small towns along the river?  Have you checked the local newspapers of the day published in both local and regional areas for auctions, revivals, funerals, weddings?   Did you look at court files and minutes of surrounding counties as well as the one where your ancestors resided?

The marriage can occur anywhere the two ancestors decide upon.

A productive  strategy is to study a current map of the area–get one that includes the surrounding places.  Look for the familiar spokes-of-the-wheel road pattern.  The center town or city in that wheel pattern is often the place of the marriage–in a cathedral church, at a city hall, in court chambers.  Also watch for resorts and recreation spots  within your  area.  Remember that your ancestors were just as creative and just as romantic when planning their wedding as you family is today!

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Set your calendar:  25-26 Feb 2011: I am speaking on Southern Land Records, State-by-State and How to Trace the Common Man Through Congressional Records at the Dixie Center in St. George UT.  Register at where you ” Ol’ Dogs can learn New Tricks!”

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply