Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Quest to Know

Over the past week and the long Thanksgiving break I have taken a detour from my initial writing reminders for the month to do a deep dive into the Mexican records available on FamilySearch. This has resulted in several huge finds, and connected me with several extremely helpful and knowledgeable researchers of these lines. In mapping out the grand puzzle that our families leave us, having exchanges with others who have been down the same path is important, and I greatly appreciate it.

For me, this research is driven by the quest to know - where the families came from, what they experienced, how they lived, and more. I do hope others in my family become as interested in these stories as I am, so I try to take the time to present the nuggets of information or threads of a story in a way that might spark some thought, or provide context. That takes time, which I never have enough of due to the life in the present, whether that be my own family or my primary field. This research is done at late hours and very early mornings, but I don't mind trading that time when the results are so often rewarding like the past week has been.

The next couple of weeks will be pretty full in the present, with some distant travel, projects due and talks to give. The writing reminders that I highlighted for November remain the same for December, with a few additions based on the new finds from Mexico. My goal to submit documentation to the First Families of Tennessee program is still there, but I need to spend some time at the Library of Congress and National Archives before that can happen. Those visits will have to wait until vacation time at the end of December.

As months go, November has been big, with an overwhelming amount of new information on various lines of the family. It is worth the time to slow down and digest this before marching down different paths at once. The quest doesn't stop, there's more to learn. Thanks for reading.


  1. Patrick, while I'm not researching any family links in Mexico, I'm still looking forward to reading about what you've found, as I have a friend just starting out researching Mexican ancestry. I'd like to pass your articles along...

    How exciting to see you are pursuing First Families of Tennessee documentation. Best wishes to you as you complete your application!

  2. Thanks Jacqi. Feel free to pass along the articles on Mexican ancestry. It has been really cool to break through on this line. FamilySearch has a massive amount of scanned records, unfortunately most of these have not yet been indexed. It helps that my search is constrained to a few towns in Sonora. Although I'm now flipping page by page through thousands of entries to find certain documents. I'm getting to know the family names of Altar & Pitiquito really well.

    It has been a bit daunting to begin assembling the documents for the Tennessee application, but reading your process on Ohio has been helpful. Maybe I'll tackle the Ohio application in 2013 on a different side of the family.


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