13 November 2010

Finding A Focus

     When I look at my family tree, I find that many of my families don't go back further than ancestors born around the late 1700s and early 1800s. Only three of my family lines cross the ocean and go overseas in the late 1600s and early/mid 1700s. Why? Because I've concentrated on the "easy" ancestors - the ones who appeared on the 1850 census or left behind common vital records. I've only spent a little bit of time in libraries, I've never researched in an archive and I've never requested film from a Family History Center. But, I think it's time for a change.

     I learned a lot from the recent Atlanta Family History Expo, and was really inspired to push myself and make some new discoveries. I have come to the conclusion that in order to do this, I should concentrate on one family line and stick with it for the majority of my research time.  This way, if I don't find a record right away, I'll look for something else for this family line, instead of jumping around all over my tree for something "easy."

Me and my Grandmama, Easter 2005
     So I asked my mom, what family should we concentrate on? Her response was immediate: the Huyler family. Her reasoning was that this was the first family that we had ever "broken down."

     My grandmama, Betty Huyler Albea, never knew her paternal grandparents. She didn't even know their names and always wished that she did. One of the first records that I ever requested was her father's social security application. This document provided the names of his father: John Willis Hyler and Ida Leaphart. My Grandmama didn't believe in crying, but she was very emotional upon seeing this document and finally learning her grandparent's names. It's one of those moments that you think back on and that make my research worthwhile.

     I'm going to start researching they Huyler family by creating profiles for each individual: what I know and what I don't. For example, every other generation seems to change the spelling of the name. Is it Huyler, Hyler, Hiler, Hoyler, Heyler, etc? What documents am I missing? Which resources have I failed to utilize? I want to challenge myself and accomplish something new. I'm confident that I can do so.

1 comment:

S. Lincecum said...

I agree the expo was very inspiring. I am also going to push myself to get out more and quit concentrating so much on the research that can easily be done from my house!


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