Genealogy is much like fishing, it’s ultimately a skilled game of tricking history out of its lost and treasured past. Family history doesn’t just happen, winners in this sport know what records to pull and how best to increase the odds of extending their family circle. And like fishing, we plan, execute and ponder the situation always hungry and hopeful for the next big strike.
With a goal of shaking the tree, records are worked slowly and methodically. Sometimes the results roll out nicely and simply walk you further down a path you’ve been traveling. Sometimes new discoveries are cataclysmic, crashing everything in the past you’ve believed to be true. Much like when a big fish hits, sometimes all goes well while on other days the reel backlashes and throws all expectation to the wind. Driven by discoveries made through DNA, this year has thrown information at us too fast to digest. It’s given us much to consider and as with a fishing backlash, we need to stop and take care of what’s happening now. It’s easy. We simply need to loosen it all up, pick away …pick away some more, and be willing to tug a little at the line in search of clues and key bits of information that surely must be there.
So, let’s look to the future. In no special order, here’s a list of personal goals for 2017:
- this past year, my Thomas family of Anson NC connected by DNA to Joseph Thomas who is believed to have relocated to the area of Wake/Chatham/Moore County from a large and well documented family living earlier in Bertie County. DNA testing of other known lines out of Bertie is very much needed to verify the broader tree.
- the lives of the Joseph Thomas family in Wake County and neighboring Chatham/Moore Counties will be explored. A major part of this effort lies in the platting of family lands.
- due to finds in Wake and Chatham, a past effort to plat family lands along Richardson Creek in Anson County has stalled for now and hopefully will be worked on in the upcoming year.
- are we kin? ….I’d like to reach out and connect with descendants of other Thomas families living close to Joseph Thomas in Wake/Chatham/Moore Counties NC.
- in places like Hancock County GA and Coosa/Elmore Counties Alabama, I’ll continue to explore early Thomas families and seek out living descendants for DNA testing.
- new discoveries require the updating and rebuilding of my website geothos.com.
- realizing much of this year will be spent with the new Thomas family discoveries, I remain committed to writing about my Love, Pless and the many other families and of other stories of folks who lived along the Rocky River.
- and, with the discovery of new family, we need to get to know each other. We need to visit, befriend, and share time. We need to establish opportunities to visit the home lands along with the people and places the family holds important.
So, ‘Happy New Year’ to us all and here’s to the hopes that 2017 will be a year for the record books! With a little organization and added work, I think we can continue to break down the wall leading to our past. There’s light at the end of this tunnel as we’ve witnessed the power of DNA. For now we simply need to chip away at the new crack in our wall. More importantly, we now have new family and will muddle our way forward in hopes of making the discoveries meaningful.