Why Oh Why

Why, Oh Why, Do I do these things to myself I ask as sit here yet another afternoon twenty years after the fact of originally researching these records, trying to input them into my database and give proper source credit to them.

Granted, yes, I have been ill for a great many years and research fell by the way side. Then again, that only accounts for ten of the twenty plus years that I have neglected to do these tasks. I cannot attribute my neglect of this project the ten years prior to my illness to anything other than pure laziness. There, I said it. Sometimes, I just do not want to do the “dirty work” of data entry and sourcing.

The process of researching for the information is much akin to writing a novel. Once you get past the initial writer’s block and negative messages of “My stuff is shit” and “I’m no good”, and settle down into the process of actually writing, that process becomes therapeutic. Well, most of the time. There are a few rare exceptions. The process of data entry and source documentation, Oh Friends, is much like the process of editing. It’s just boring and monotonous. No two ways about it or around it. Still, in order to have a completed (or near as completed as is humanly possible) tree, one must source and edit continually before releasing their work into the atmosphere that is called the genealogical world or heaven forbid, the world as a whole.

There are some positive aspects to editing, source documentation, and revision. First and probably the most important beside the obvious of completing those necessary tasks is being able to see your project with fresh eyes. To inadvertently run across material or information you previously missed. To realize, that source you were looking for longer than you can to remember much less admit, is staring you right in the eyes.

A good case in point, I have been looking for a marriage record on my paternal grandparents for upwards of twenty-four years. I had exhausted, to my knowledge, all resources in North Carolina looking for this information. Well, what I hadn’t considered was to check another state as well as another repository. Recently, I did just that. Having lived on the cusps of two bordering states, it suddenly (can we say duh?) to look over into South Carolina for the record I was seeking. Too, for whatever reason, and honestly given the LDS church’s excellent record sets with a plethora of information it amazes me I had never looked here, I decided to investigate the records of familysearch.org . Bingo! I input my grandparents names and the State of South Carolina with a plus or minus of two years to the year 1940 and lo, and behold, I found their marriage record from March 13, 1942. I now have this record in my possession with both of my grandparents signatures on it.

To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. I have a two-fold lesson in this post. One, always cite your sources, to include notations of where you came up empty. Lastly, and most important never stop searching but never assume that your ancestor didn’t travel, or that everything happened exactly in the same spot they were from. Make sure you look to neighboring towns, counties, and believe it or not, even states.

Happy Relative Counting!


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