Monday, September 7, 2015

One year hence

It is interesting to look at the past year of my life and my research for they are forever entwined. I entered this past year with back trouble resulting from two falls about two weeks apart. I learned a great deal about my character as a result of those falls. I can be an absolutely very stubborn person and it was that absolute stubbornness that resulted in my basically standing for six months whenever I was awake and thus my back healed with careful exercises which initially did not appear to be working although I have done my yoga exercises for over 45 years. I had to finetune them to work with a healing back and so I did and the net result was amazing in retrospect. Six months after the accident I was able to return slowly to my research and sitting at the computer for longer than a couple of minutes. I still did do some research but not to any great extent. It gave me a great deal of time to think about where my research was going and the activities with which I was involved. The two were in a hopeless collision that I had to resolve and it took me the other six months to resolve that and to train my mind not to become involved in projects that did not directly lead to more information on my two one name studies or to enhancing my own family research. It has been difficult to keep myself from becoming distracted by other interesting ideas but as I turn 70 in just a couple of days I think that I am now facing forward and thinking clearly in terms of how to accomplish the most out of my research days to both compliment my one name studies which do quite fascinate me and my own family research which has changed in some ways this past year.

First of all, my DNA studies are now completely integrated with my family research. Although I still do all that paper research (while mostly microfilm records either online or as fiche that I have purchased), I am now looking keenly at all the autosomal data that I have accumulated by testing both myself and my brother at most of the companies. Me, I am tested at every main company except for National Genographic 2.0 and Britains DNA and my brother is tested at every company except AncestryDNA which I intend to resolve in the next month or so. I am somewhat overwhelmed with dna data at the moment and about to get another deluge of information from 23 and Me so will wait on that test for another month. I also want to do the Full Genome of my brother who has been so willing to be tested. He has been grand. But now I am able to produce these interesting tables combining all the companies results and my known cousins and triangulate results to give me a peek into the past.

Secondly, I have determined that five years is the length of time that I will spend on the Blake and Pincombe one name studies. I will still maintain them after that date but I will not actively research other lines than my own after I am 75 years of age. I hope that in the five years I will find someone younger/willing to take on the one name studies and give them all my acquired material or I will donate it to a local repository to be available to anyone who wishes to use it.

Thirdly, I will from now on have a 52 ancestor challenge beginning each new year where I selectively work on family lines  - next year is already dedicated to the 4x great grandparents of our grandchildren and many other grandchildren as their descendants number in the tens of thousands on their French Canadian side and their Colonial American side. My side, English, has considerly less descendants due to very small families in some of my lines that went on to produce offspring. The two World Wars were particularly hard on many of my family lines in the southern part of England. But even before that I have a number of only children in lines in more than one generation.

Fourthly, I need to plan (with my husband of course) several research trips directed at learning as much as I can about several lines that are quite veiled to me although the DNA results are certainly showing that I am looking in the right direction. I just need to read what is available in a couple of particular repositories.

Fifthly, I have a couple of large scanning projects that I want to complete this next year. I will redo my calendar to suit these changes in my thoughts. I will turn two half days into scanning days.

Since my dedicated research days on particular family lines (namely Monday although that occasionally comes a little earlier) is not involved with my own family lines I need to have some "spare time" built into my calendar plan to accommodate DNA research with respect to my personal family lines. I have started to write to cousins to see if I can persuade any of them to test for particular lines. My mother's side now has a couple of interesting results that let me look back into her lines but I still have very little on my father's side of close family relatives so that I have a control group to look at other matches as they drop into my various matches at the many companies. He was an only child and I only have a few 2nd cousins on his side.

For the remainder of this year, I will continue working on my 4x great grandparents - Jane Morgan is to come and I know very little about her. That will just be luck I think finding out more about Thomas Rawlin's wife's line. Then on to the Lywood family which has been well researched by Warwick Lywood with his one name study although the name of George Lywood's wife is Elizabeth Lanham rather than Canham which was a rather great find earlier in the year. Then my Peck line and Martha Peck's father was unknown and remains that way - was he a Napoleonic soldier? a great unknown but Elizabeth Peck will be written about. Then John Rew the grandfather of Elizabeth Rew my 2x great grandmother married to John Pincombe, the emigrant, and staying with the Pincombe theme I will look at Philip Rowcliffe father of Elizabeth Rowcliffe married to Robert Pincombe and Mary Charley my 4x great grandmother and mother of Robert Pincombe. Then back to Somerset and Grace Kent married to Robert Siderfin is my next 4x great grandparent. Up to the East riding of Yorkshire to write about Robert Gray and Jane Hilton my 4x great grandparents whose grandson Robert Gray Junior was my emigrant ancestor in that line. Their son Robert married Elizabeth Cobb and my next 4x great grandfather was her father John Cobb of Kilnwick ERY. Then finally on the homeward trek I reach into the family lines of my maternal grandmother looking at her grandmother's Welch family. John Welch married Margaret Brockhouse 16 Feb 1783 at Rugeley Staffordshire and they are my 4x great grandparents. My 2x great grandmother Ann Welch's maternal grandparents were William Cheatle and likely Sarah Woodcock married 23 Feb 1773 at Castle Donington. A recent DNA match may help to prove this line. Then the last ancestor challenge of the year is my unknown Taylor line written up something like I wrote up unknown Buller quite a while ago now. I suspect he is the father of Samuel Taylor married to Ann Lewis Harborne and one of these days I think the DNA matches will tell me part of that story. Was he Irish? I am curious about that as his wife was English going back another three generations. It will be an interesting last post of the year to write. That gives me a total of 16 4x great grandparents to write about in the 52 Ancestor Challenge and there are 16 weeks remaining. And Challenge 36 was published for this week  - William Dove.

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