Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Discoveries are Delightful

My genealogy research is pretty casual these days. A couple of years ago I was really gung-ho and eating up the information as fast as I could find it. You might say I was in serious discovery mode. Things started off slow, floundered for a few years, then the flood gates broke open and I went crazy. At some point you start running out of information . . . or at least information that is easy to find. So now it has become slower. There are certainly many things I could do to fill-in some of the missing information, close some of the gaps and get more detail but right now, I am content to sit back and take it slow. Too many other things going on that are consuming my time. But I still find new discoveries delightful and when I find one, I still get that tingly feeling from head to toe.


This week I had one of those days  . . . the tingly thing was happening. I discovered a book with a great detail of information on my most ancient American ancestors. The book called "The Brittle Thread of Life: Backcountry People Make a Place for Themselves in Early America," by Mark Williams has great information on the three Nathaniels that are 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Americans living in Salmon Brook (Granby) Connecticut in the late 1600's / early 1700's. It also has great background information on Salmon Brook itself and on the harsh conditions these settlers faced in trying carve a life out of a sometimes hostile wilderness. Just published in 2009, it is a true discovery, because it did not exist just a year or so ago. I found it on Google Books and because it is only a preview, have not been able to read that much of it yet. Once again, someone has taken the time and effort to complete a substantial amount of research all for my benefit (or at least I feel it is for my benefit). What makes this truly a great discovery is the depth of information put forth in the book. There is a finite (at least right now) amount of information available on-line about the Nathaniels and most of it is repeated all over the web. The book provides me with new information and new insight into these pioneers and their life.

Just when it seemed that all the information available had been found, new stuff shows-up. The great thing about the web is that it is ever-expanding and new information is guaranteed. The down side is that the research is never finished . . . or is that the upside? For me, these new discoveries are what keeps me interested, motivated and eager to find more. I will still be taking it easy, but also hope the next discovery comes soon.

Additional Reading:
History and Genealogy
Genealogy and the Internet
The Flow of Information

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