Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

Photograph taken at Fort Frederick State Park in Maryland

Sometimes we get so involved in the big picture we miss the little details. This fact came to light while composing a recent blog post.

Following the GeneaBloggers Sunday's Obituary prompt I have begun to transcribe family newspaper clippings. An added bonus is discovering new information while entering each article.

Last weekend's post called Sunday's Obituary - Mary Matilda Starr Stock brought to light an exciting piece of family history. The article lists the organizations Mary had been part of throughout her life. There we find her as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution!

My next step was to search the DAR database where I discovered the above record.

The following is the lineage I have in my records for Mary:

Patrick McSherry married Catherine Gartland

John McSherry, son of Patrick and Catherine Gartland - married Margaretta Black

Andrew McSherry,  son of John McSherry and Margaretta Black - married Eve Norbeck

Sarah Matilda McSherry, daughter of Andrew McSherry and Eve Norbeck - married Alfred Platt Starr

William Francis Starr, son of Sarah Matilda McSherry (husband's 2nd great grandmother)and Alfred Platt Starr - married Anna Louise Steffy

Mary Matilda Starr, daughter of William Francis Starr and Anna Louise Steffy

I am sure this news will be of interest to my daughter, who is also a descendant of the patriot Patrick McSherry.

As a newbie to genealogy I realize how my inexperience can cause me to overlook important details. This is why I have connected to more seasoned researchers.

Through webinars, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging you will find others happy to give guidance. In fact during a recent workshop the presenter advised "look closer at the records in your files. You may already have the answer".

Indeed I did!

If not for the prompts Thomas MacEntee provides at GeneaBloggers this information may never have come to light. Thanks, Thomas!


  1. What a wondrful find! I love how you tied it together with the picture and encouraged us to see the forest. Great post!

  2. I totally agree about taking the time to transcribe family newspaper clippings. Though it sometimes can be tedious, I've found everything from the soap-opera-esque blow by blow of divorce court proceedings to key finds of relatives' names previously unknown.

    How much better to find a connection like the DAR records. When I read your post, that "DAR" leaped out of the page like it had neon lights. I bet you were delighted with that discovery!!!

  3. First, I have to comment on the great photo. Did you take it? And second, good thing you saw the DAR, and knew there should be a paper trail. Glad you saw it. Good work all around.

  4. Thanks for the great comments.

    @Barbara - Yes I did take the photograph.

  5. I agree with Barbara - that is a beautiful photo! (It would make a lovely computer desktop.) And your post is a reminder to me that I need to get back to transcribing the many newspaper articles I have for some of my ancestors.