Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Infectious Disease With No Known Cure

There is no cure for this disease.  It is passed on from one generation to another, to at least one member of the family. The method of transmission seems to result from several sources, neither of which are possible to suppress or circumvent. 

Onset of this disease often results during one’s high school years, where there is an unusual desire during American History class to dig deeper and learn if any of your ancestors came across on the Mayflower, was one of the original settlers in a community, ended up marrying a Native American Indian, or was murdered in the Salem Witch Trials.

If one isn’t infected by this disease at that point in time, it often invades our system when one of our close loved ones dies.  All of a sudden this yearning to know about your heritage invades your entire body and you realize you have to get going on the search before any more of the “older generation” passes away, or you yourself get too much older and the family history is not recorded for the generations that will follow you. This is followed by a fever, a yearning desire to get started on this project immediately.

There is no cure, all you can do is take medication in order to subdue this disease.  That means lots of research, whether it is by using the internet to get you started, or by visiting old courthouses for documents and finding old graveyards where your ancestors are buried.  The brick walls that you encounter will keep you awake at night, those old buried bones seem to cry out to you “ find me find me” !  Sometimes the burning desire is so deep that you get up in the middle of the night, brew yourself another cup of coffee to help keep you awake and you pursue the hunt one more time!  You try posting more information, rewording your request or the people that you are hunting for on one of the many genealogy message boards. It means searching records again, maybe this time for a sibling of your direct ancestor, or contacting others in the family who also suffer from this same disease.  Consequently more and more websites are popping up on the internet as this disease spreads. Information can become available through the most unlikely sources sometimes.  You know that you are truly addicted with this infection when you scrutinize each of the addresses of people who send you emails and they include the names of others on their lists to see if any of the Surnames match those you are looking for?  Or if you have joined any Yahoo groups and you watch the names and where they live?  .

I have so many different lines that I am following, that I often feel like Michael Jackson in the graveyard of his movie Thriller!  All of those zombies, clamoring for his attention and the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all!  There are times when I think ok, I’ll step back, work on just one line and guess what happens?  Out of the blue I will get an email and it will be someone who is looking for the same people I am and they are related through one of the other offspring of the family. I end up once again picking up the torch and trying to light a pathway so that we are both able to find what we are looking for. So much for concentrating on just one line.

So I go back to my conglomeration of Moore’s the ones in my family from the North, being Michigan and Canada and the Moore’s from the South, being my son-in-law’s family, wondering if they will end up being connected somewhere along the way. The same with my Parker family from Illinois and his from Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.  Will all those Parker’s take me back to Chief Quanah Parker?

It is so difficult to try and stay centered on just one family!  My cousins and I have tried that with our Decker line. We were fortunate enough to locate several more family researchers and we are all still trying to unravel the mystery of who exactly was Peter Decker’s wife!  It would have been simple, if there weren’t more than just one Peter Decker, living in or near Passaic New Jersey, and who didn’t all name their children, using the same names of John, Andrew, Jacob, James and Isaac! They all lived in close proximity to one another and are often mixed up and end up in each other’s genealogy history. Once again, the need arises for as much accurate documentation as you can lay your hands on, and finding family bibles or journals which will be able to unravel the mess!

So as I start this new year, I am anxious to hear from all of you as to how you go about solving your brick walls.  How do you stay centered on just one or two people to try and track down at a time? 

Since there is no cure, I am looking for some other methods of finding solutions to these problems and the burning question…….. Who do you think you are?

This looks like a good book to add to my library!  So many times we forget about the women and really need more ways to locate them.


  1. I think I am infected too! I don't have a cure but the disease isn't so bad - we may not have a cure but we do have support groups (genealogy societies) and treatment programs (research plans)! And it isn't life threatening unless we get buried under our stacks of papers!

    Great Blog!

  2. I can relate to your comment about trying to stay focused on one line...only to be sidetracked by another. Sometimes I feel like I am going in circles rather than forward. But it is an incurable disease and I will persevere.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  3. What a great way to make sense of our symptoms. I love the Thriller reference...fits just right!

  4. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"