Sunday, July 23, 2017

Writer's Block

Image from Pixabay.com


I have not written anything recently because I don’t know what to write. I’ve been having real problems with my genealogy research this summer. I previously explained my problems with the research into Mariah Williams Bailey Huber in a post in April. Then I moved on to my mother’s Schneider roots. There are a lot of Snyder’s/Schneider’s in her family, as at the level of my second great-grandparents John Snyder/Schneider married Katherine Snyder/Schneider (as far as I can tell at this point, two different Schneider family lines joining). I have an old hand-drawn family tree of names & relationships, which has proven to be about 85% accurate, which goes to my third great-grandparents level in the Snyder families; it stops where I am stuck. It is at the point of my second great-grands and third great-grands that the Schneider’s emigrated from the Germanic states (pre-Germany) to the USA. I have been having a great deal of difficulty trying to find anything on their emigration and on their life before reaching the United States. It doesn’t help that Schneider is a fairly common name. I am finding records, but I can’t tell if they belong to my people.

It’s gotten to the point where I have determined that I either need to pay a German genealogist to look into this or take some courses in German genealogy and perhaps learn German. I priced hiring German genealogists and determined that that is not on the current budgetary horizon. (It’s not that I think that they are overpriced. Apparently, it is standard to buy a chunk of hours’ worth of work [20, 40, 120] for a set price, and while that price was initially a bit breathtaking, once I divided it by the number of hours I realized it’s really quite reasonable for the expertise needed and work involved. It’s just not something I can consider until possibly spring, or later.) And, I don’t have the time to take webinars or classes in German genealogy, and German, for at least three years.


However, I have found it psychologically difficult to move on without writing without writing a blog post on them. Apparently, my mind and gut have been convinced over the years of doing the research and writing this blog, that when I have completed what I’m able to do on a given ancestor at that point in time, I write a blog post before moving on to whichever line I choose to explore next. The blog posts I normally do on ancestors situate them in the historical context in which they lived and involve a decent amount of contextual research to do so (in my head I call them “ancestor profiles”). The problem is, I don’t know enough about the Schneider’s to do that – hence the writer’s block. But I have to do something so I can get my head to move on (I’m tired of nights of only 4 hours of sleep in which I find nothing helpful). So I have decided to write a few posts that I will deem “status reports,” writing about what I do know about the ancestor and/or family I’m stuck on, and, where there are differing indications that I’ve seen in other’s trees explain why I have not accepted those points (… yet). I’m hoping that those sort of posts will serve two purposes: (1) allow me to let go and move on to research another line, and, (2) perhaps attract the attention of a “cousin” I may not have met yet who has more information than I have, or different family stories that might point to more clues, who is willing to help me get further back on these lines. 

4 comments:

  1. I agree with your plan to write what you do know about them and perhaps someone else will have the missing puzzle pieces, especially since you are looking at 3x great grandparents. Hope the plan is successful!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. It helps.

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  2. I agree with Linda---write what you can, even if it's brief. Put in the relevant names, and maybe someone Googling the name of a relative will find you. It has happened to me several times and helped me tremendously with my research.

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    1. Thank you, Amy; your encouragement helps. I'm going to do at least four, I think. One for each husband and wife separately , even though they'll be short and a bit redundant, to increase the odds that someone will stumble across their person. I'm still having problems writing them but that has a lot to do with the chaos of the week and lack of sleep, too.

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