Are you like me? I start researching one ancestor, then something else catches my eye for a different ancestor and I am off in a completely different direction. In my case, it’s counter-productive and I am not getting anything done for any ancestors. So, I have decided to pick just ONE line and work on that for now.
This focus will be good for me. I am blessed to have a plethora of material, including transcriptions of diaries, for many of my ancestors. I keep thinking someday I will read them. In my new approach, I WILL read them as I will go back one generation at a time, prove the links, and then (more interesting to me), incorporate the social history. This includes reading the diaries, biographies, auto-biographies and anything else that I have or can find.
Eventually, and it might take a while, if all the generations that I currently have in my database that have been passed down through a few generations are correct, I will end up with my Loyalist ancestor Thomas Sumner, the ancestor I am really interested in right now.
Here is a rough sketch of what I know I have, or where I think I can find relevant information. It’s an outline of a research plan.
Many of these were prominent Mormons, so there is a lot on FamilySearch.org (memories, pictures, etc.) as well as diaries, LDS church records and newspapers that I can search. Some were also polygamists, so may find some interesting things in court records.
Here are the generations to get back there:
Parents (living)–know about them
Grandparents (living)–know about them. Kind of embarrassing I don’t have a picture. Working on that.
Robert Ison & Louie May Savage–
He died young, but I know some stories about him. Will seek out some newspaper articles to back them up. I have her lengthy autobiography with lots of pictures and memorabilia
Levi Mathers Savage & Hannah Adeline Hatch
Have a transcription of his diary and a scan of her journal. He was fairly prominent in Mormon Church History, so will search newspapers and LDS history as well. This was a polygamous marriage, so there may also be court records, as well as records from other wives, including Addie’s sister.
Lorenzo Hill Hatch & Catherine Karren
Have a transcription of his diary as well as a book written about him (and well documented). Another prominent Mormon, so will also search newspapers and LDS church history records. Also a polygamist.
Hezekiah Hatch & Aldura Sumner
These were the first to convert to Mormonism in this line. She died in Vermont and he died in Nauvoo, Illinois.
John Austin Sumner & Abigail Plumley
He was the son of Thomas Sumner. As far as I know, the entire family was forced out of Vermont and eventually ended up in Canada. John, along with some of the other children, came back to Vermont. Would love to find out more about that story.
Thomas Sumner & Rebecca Downer
The Loyalist ancestor–really want to find out more about his story.
How has focusing on just one or two lines, and using research plans, worked for you?