Saturday, March 14, 2009

At a loss...

It's not like me to skip so many days without a post. I've been up to my eyes in documents, deeds and research for the last few days and when I sat down to write tonight... ideas just escape me right now.

So, in an attempt to clear my head and get all this under control I thought I'd put into words what all this stuff is around me, and then maybe I can see clearly what to do next and go for it. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees... right now I feel like I'm researching lots of stuff and don't have any idea where it's supposed to take me. Anyone else ever feel that way, or am I headed for a Genealogy burn out?

Maryland recently gave access to their property deeds on line for testing and I've been busily researching my Kidwell and Thomas families' records from the late 1600s to mid 1800s in Prince George's and Charles Counties. This research brought up a few questions about the information I received from another researcher years ago - research "facts" that I was always meaning to go back and source myself... We're talking about my 8th, 9th, 10 and even 11th Great-Grandfathers. I've found many deeds for the Kidwell family and have been copying, printing and attempting to make sense of them all with regards to the location of the properties, who sold what to whom and how the original 300+ acre plantation was split up - "gifted" to sons and sons-in-laws, etc. Not to mention that all important burial plot that is there somewhere and is actually mentioned in one of the deeds as part of it changed hands from the Kidwells back to the Thomas'. I don't get how on earth these people knew what they actually owned, with the measurements from a black oak to that river rock, 13 perches to this other tree... I suppose it worked, but I can't imagine trying to find this exact spot today. There are some interesting things I've come across, property changing hands between the Kidwells and the Sarrat/Surrat family AND deals between the Kidwells and the Mudd family... more on that later - if anything cool comes of it - ah more research to do!

I've got 30+ BMD records to get through, transcribe and enter into my software and neatly attach my England ancestors together. This would be my McCann, Smith, and Morris, lines, plus a new surname - Makepeace. Because I have the documents here in hand, I've been taking this project in small pieces just to take a break from doing research (and blogging).

I've also been trying to chase down an Aunt from the England McCann family who seems to have vanished after 1924, but before last week I didn't even know that she ever came to the US. Catherine McCann Aspin who came to the US in 1919 with her husband, James William Aspin, appears in a city directory in 1924 and then is no where to be found in the records - but, I know that she lived at least into the 1950s because my Mother went to her home when she was a child. I've reached out to another living Aunt of mine and also a 2nd cousin here in the US in an attempt to find out if someone knows anything about this lady and what ever became of her.

Finally, I've also been doing research work for one of my neighbors, who both happen to be from a very long line of local families so the information is fairly easy to get my hands on, but then I can't just hand them the documents, I need to get reports together for them, clearly source all the facts I've found and get this off my desk. This has taken a back seat to all other projects sitting here.

In the midst of this, there is the house to clean (not), meals to cook, 6 other people and a dog to take care of, laundry to do, errands to run, yadda yadda yadda... suddenly I feel really guilty sitting here right now... LOL

Looking back at this post, I guess I wasn't "at a loss" for words, maybe just at a loss of what to do next.


  1. Need a breather, you do. Happens to everyone. Information overload, art overload, laudry overload. And spring fever. You're fine.

    I have to catch up on the story of Margaret, but I skimmed a little bit. You should write a book.

    You have Keeners in your family? There is a town in North Carolina called Keener, about 60 miles south of Raleigh-Durham. Farm country and every street and little rural area is named after a person it seems. Don't know if you may find anything there.

    Take care and Happy St. Pat's Day !!

  2. Cindy, I completely understand! I write it down too...and find them the highest priority or most interesting task in the process.

    You didn't mention a link for the Maryland Deeds. Can you share, please?

    Thanks -- Randy

    Searching McKnew, Pickrell, Prather, others in colonial PG County.

  3. Cindy, I am going thru the exact same thing as you are just that I have been trying to get my Eimes Family book done! An author and writer I am not. I have others who are waiting on me to complete it. I work full time, and my house has never been in such a mess, I am definitley on overload and burnout. I feel guilty because I started my blog but don't blog much, I just don't have the time and if I do, my brain is so fried that I don't know what to write or even know how to make sense of thoughts or creative enough to put something together! I was thinking about blogging about it but I didn't think it would sound right! I know exactly how you feel. I feel guilty because I don't ever let my house go, it's a wreck! I feel that hanging over my head too. My papers are all spread out and I am organized but not! It drives me nuts to see it all over the place and only get maybe 15 mins a day to work on anything. I read all the blogs and feel bad because I cannot come up with great and helpful stuff as others. I think once I get my book done, things will get much better. I will have some things to blog about. Hang in there, you are doing wonderful and you inspire me as now I know I am not alone and it is something maybe we all go thru at some point in our research. I have considered stopping for just a little while but I can't, I want to keep going and accomplish recording my family history and putting in a book so that it will be passed to my grandchildren. We can support each other! Keep up the search...