Goin’ Back to Ol’ Virginny, or the Problem with Being a Records Junkie

Have you ever had that feeling that you’re stagnating, but you’re not sure exactly how to get out of that rut? Well, that’s me with my personal research. I spent some quality time with OneNote a few days ago to organize some of my research, in part looking for possible story ideas for articles, lectures, and blog posts.

I realized, as I do every single time I look through my pedigree, that I’m stuck in the 19th century with many of my lines.

It’s not that I’m not researching, because I am. I really am! I dutifully go to the courthouse, determined this time to research one ancestor or family group, promising myself that I will not get lost in the records…and then I get lost in the records. What can I say? I’m a records junkie. Comes in really handy when you’re, oh, I don’t know, preparing for a lecture on Georgia’s 19th century records. Not so handy when your love of records interferes with your research focus.

I have it easy, too. Most of my ancestors over the past two hundred years lived within an easy drive of where I live now. Many lived or passed through Rabun County, where I was born and grew up. Yes, I’m still here, after brief sojourns elsewhere as a student and an Army wife. So the records are within comparatively easy reach, but I’m not getting the research done.

A couple of months ago I finally resolved to do better. After all, this research is a legacy my son will one day inherit. I owe it to him to at least try to take my ancestral lines back to Virginia or parts beyond, right? Because what he’s really interested in is the older history. Think Ancient Rome older. I know, we’ll never get back that far, but I think he would, if given a chance, deeply enjoy colonial and medieval research. It’s much more difficult, yes, but the challenge is half the fun. And if I can conclusively prove at least some lines back to colonial days, then he can pick up where I left off and do a great deal of good.

Well, it makes a nice dream, anyway.

But no, I’m serious this time. I’m going to get those lines back to the Old Dominion, come rain, sleet, snow, or turkey dressing. Now all I have to do is stay away from the records…while I’m researching in the records.

Meh. Not a chance.

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