Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Have Genealogy Ennui

I feel like I should be reclining on my chaise wearing a turban when I use the word ennui, but hey, for all you know, that's where I am while typing this up anyway.  :-D

So there's this cartoon I've always enjoyed whenever it pops up on someone's feed:

The original can be found here.

It's just like the family drives of my childhood :-)

Today this cartoon came to mind as I had a moment where I thought what if I don't do this any more?

I know, shocking, and we all know it won't last but here's where it came from:

I have this line, this line of "MIX" people.  They are so prolific and all over the place and go way back.  I have this one problem though.  When I made an application to the DAR a few years back, the review process called to light that I don't have enough documented proof that shows that my great-great-great-grandfather really is the son of his father.  Oh, and don't worry, I used a different line from Maryland and got my DAR membership with that one - Yay for the documented HARRISON line!!  :-)

My MIX problem - it's pre-1850 census, pre- any process of birth/marriage/death certificates, NY state claims they can't find anything, I swear they are the worst state to deal with, they should learn from Illinois and PA, but I digress --- I haven't been able to find any wills or probate records, I went over everything I could find while at the Tioga County Historical Society in NY and I just have nothing.

As I was wandering around in the 1865 NY State Census on today I suddenly thought, what if there is no "proof"?  What if I never find anything?  There was a Mix historian who spent years and years and years documenting and in his records he just said it was assumed they were father and son.  If he couldn't find anything, how could I think I ever will?

And then I look at another line that's really well documented - the CHESLEYs - but I can't use them because of a little messy technicality in that my ancestress kind of sort of slept with her brother-in-law, had a baby, my great-great-grandmother, and then passed away.  So this was back in the mid-1800s and again there's no state law of birth certificates (people could lie anyway) so I don't have "proof" that brother-in-law Alonzo really was the father.

And finally I look at my other lines on my mom's side (my dad does his side) and the rest are all deadend brickwalls in the early 1800s.

I am absolutely NOT a professional genealogist and I'm not looking for documented proof to try and take over the monarchy in the UK so I'm not sure if I'm right to be so on the hook for what I think of as real "proof".  I admit I overly document, I am librarian after all, and the saying "no photo? then it didn't happen" applies to my research "no source?  then it's not true".

Maybe it's just time for a break, a step away, I certainly have several months/years worth of scanning to do in the boxes from my grandparents so I'm sure a little perspective will help.

I mean, if I never went any further back on my MIX line, I could certainly fill in the breadth of the tree as the descendants freaking numerous so I guess that could be my focus.  But we all know what going back really far in your tree is super fun and awesome.

So this was a lot of words today and usually I try to intersperse photos in my words or I know I lose people.  I do it in my work emails too, I assume my audience has a 3 bullet point attention span.

In closing then, I'll leave you with another of my favorite cartoons:

HAAAAAAAAAAA!  Whenever I burp, I imagine my face looks like the 3rd panel.

By the way did you know there is an entire search engine devoted to Calvin and Hobbes?  You should go there: