14 April 2015

A Lot of Hard Work for Little Reward? : The Essential Need for "Hope" in Genealogy

Presented here is the marriage record for my 4xg-grandparents Sylvanus Smith and Roxa Rich.  It is impossible for me to express the difficulty in locating it!  Note the groom is in the bride's place, and the bride is in the groom's place.  Note that Sylvanus's name has been made into a nickname and Roxa's first name is completely different.  Ugh!

And then, when I finally find the card, after all the hard searching, what is my reward -- all the treasured boxes are blank. :-(  Double Ugh.

But wait!  I did get a date, and from that I can search periodicals and local records.  I can research the name of the minister and find out his church, and look for records there.  Finally, I now also have alternative names for my ancestors to research with, especially Roxa's alternative name of Constant.

"Glass half full," you might say rolling your eyes.  Perhaps.  But I see potential and possibility!  "Hope" is essential to the hobby of genealogy.  It is a treasure hunt where we hope for the next big find, and are rewarded with little nuggets as we follow the trails.  Without hope there is no heart, and without heart, the only people willing (literally from human "will") to play the game would be paid professionals.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

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