Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's Right Before My Eyes -- Maybe!

Today was no sunny day.  I awoke to a morning of thick fog, which eventually burned off into a cloudy, dull day.  Like many of you, I spent time running errands…grocery store, library, mall, and on and on.  And as these things often go, I traveled in a loop, probably never further than five miles from my home.

As I drove the familiar roads of my neighborhood,
I was stunned to notice such amazing autumn color, despite the dull skies!  My immediate thought was how sad that many days I go along these roads, unaware of the surrounding beauty.  Something so worthwhile had been right in front of me, and I took no notice. 

Immediately I thought of my genealogy research.  So often I am searching for a date, place, or other connection, when the clue I need is right before me.  Saying that, I have vowed to re-examine my files and have a good look around the house.  Here’s what I’ll be doing over the next weeks:

Re-reading my collection of family obituaries, death notices, newspaper articles and other records.  Take note of any names I may have overlooked, simply because they were not the known "family" names.      

Many of my old photos have one or two unidentified people.  I’ll schedule time to sit down with Mom and figure out just who these folks are!

Thumb through shelved books that have sat undisturbed for years.  I’m sure to turn up at least a good bookmark, if not a holy card, photo or old newspaper article. 

Re-examine my father’s application for a high-security military clearance.  I’m sure knowing more about the people who were named as his references will be helpful.  

Do the same for my 2x great-grandfather’s Civil War pension record.  The folks who signed as witnesses on the record’s many government forms knew him for much of his life.  Whether family or not, this could provide clues. 

Review death certificates to determine if there was an autopsy (another report!)  

In general, I'll update my research with the clues I already have.  I might find a bit of helpful information along the way, and at the very least, all the piles of paper on the dining room table will be straight!

All photos by the author, 11/10/2011.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful way to be inspired to adopt a fresh perspective!