Thankful Thursday... The Magnitude of My Discovery

Oh my stars! I just did a rough calculation of all amount of information that I obtained from a research trip to Ohio in May of this year. I was only half kidding when I off-handedly said that I had enough information to last me for years. I honestly have enough information that I don't know how I will ever process it and still be able to keep up with all the new information coming in.

I know, I know. Many people will say, "If only I had this problem." Well, this is a blessing and a curse. I have excited so many people about their family lines, they want to know 'have you found anything new?' Don't get me wrong, I love sharing. I just feel so bad saying, "I'm still processing everything from May. But yes, I have found new things. I'll share it later." What if 'later' is 4 years from now? Yikes!

Narrative for Sherman Lewis Brown
Narrative for Sherman Lewis Brown

Now, it's entirely possible that I'm doing this the wrong way. I'll grant that I don't know everything. Let's just say, that right now I'm trying to write the 'life' about the people based upon the new information. I have used the narrative report generator from Roots Magic. I pulled in the facts, notes, and source information from the database as it pertains to the family members I'm writing about. There's something wrong with the way my computer processes the RTF file. Someday I will figure it out. In short, I have to create a PDF then copy that into Open Office Writer. I can then connect the footnotes, index the person (see gray boxes in image above), and develop the story even further.

Source citations for Sherman Lewis Brown
Source citations for Sherman Lewis Brown

Much of the new information I have needs to be sourced better. That involves a lot of work. For instance, when using's city directories, the citation is not record specific. I have linked Sherman Lewis Brown to 30 years of city directories. However, I have to manually source the citation to refer to the specific city directory. That takes a LOT of time. (Not complaining. Just sharing what's taking so long).

So from correcting source citations, changing Ibids to cross-references numbers, and tying the facts of his life together in a story form, I have spent all of my free time this week on one person alone. If I calculate the math for the narrative for my mother and her direct ancestors, I'm overwhelemed. There are 52 individual parent combinations in this narrative that only goes back six generations from mom. If it takes me a week per individual of these combinations, that is a year. That doesn't include the stories of the couple's children. It doesn't include new family members that I've learned about (including going back additional generations) Mind you, that's using every minute of my spare time on this one family. I still have my father's family (with many anxious relatives wanting to know more).

Additionally, I create scrapbooks for my living family, photograph memorabilia, and create heritage scrapbooks. Plus, there is more information coming in every day.

I can't say I don't love it. Because honestly I'm excited that there is so much to work on. I just hope my living family members, who have shared so much with me already, will appreciate that I really do have information that will take a minimum of 4 years to process into a 'story'. Thankfully I can share bits and pieces on this blog. I can also share some things through email. It will be slow for the person who wants to see fruits of my labor. For me, it will be more 'slow and steady wins the race'.

So truly, I am thankful for everything I have to process. I know others would LOVE to have my problems. I know that if I'm caring for my hubby and children and the writing takes even longer, my distant relatives will understand and applaud my efforts. The difference is, now I'm not kidding when I say I have years worth of information from my trip in May combined with the research I have done since then.

Happy Thanksgiving. May we all be grateful for the 'problems' our genealogy research entails.


  1. How much fun to have all this research to go through! I'm sure if you go through everything in an organized way, sourcing everything accurately, you'll be glad you did in the future when you want to find something from your wonderful Ohio trip.

    1. Sourcing accurately.... yep. I'm trying to. But I fully agree it will be worth it though it can take some time.


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