My friend and genealogist, Amy Coffin had a post yesterday on her great blog, The We Tree Genealogy Blog, about how easy some of her research was into her husband’s family but how difficult researching her own family has been. Amy, you’re right! It’s just not fair.
I have been researching my Hadden (paternal) and O’Neill (maternal) families for 30 years and I still can’t find a confirmed date of birth for one of my maternal great grandfathers. He died in 1927 so I’m not conducting research deciphering cave drawings! Although I have had more success on my paternal Hadden family, it has not been easy and I would have thought that after 30 years I would have more to show for it.
On the other hand, I began researching my wife Ellen’s family about seven years ago and at times the information flows so fast, it’s tough to keep up with all the source citations – multiple sources for almost all facts. Granted Ellen’s family has a much longer history in Ontario, Canada and having more local sources is a benefit but my excitement in discovering multiple prominent local and national political connections doesn’t always seemed to be shared with the same fervour. Four mayors, Members of Canada’s Parliament, Members of Provincial Parliament(in Ontario), a Canadian Senator, and today’s discovery of a connection to Ontario’s 18th Premier (more on that on a later date when all the sourced facts are known). I’ve even found a local pioneer village where spinning wheels produced by Ellen’s third great grandfather are on display.
Maybe one day, my family will feel as easy. It’s a good thing hope comes in large quantities!