Saturday, September 3, 2011
When the Lights Go Out
Today our power was finally restored from Hurricane Irene's impact on Maryland. All in all with the extensive damage the storm unleashed we were pretty fortunate. The biggest inconvenience our home suffered was the loss of electricity for almost a week.
Somewhere into the third day I started getting a little stir crazy, and maybe a wee cranky. What to do without the Internet? No blogging, Ancestry, or tweeting! Had enough of crossword puzzles, card games, and reading by candlelight.
Then inspiration finally struck my family research brain! This would be the perfect time to organize files, read hastily scribbled notes, and solve genealogy puzzles. Maybe without online distractions I would focus more fully on records already in my possession.
To keep track of various documents I began using Rubbermaid storage bins for portable filing. Each person has their own personal hanging file. Before each surname is a "possible" file with information to investigate later. It is quite embarrassing to tell you these files have become more out of sight, out of mind than necessary.
With the electricity out researching these bins became the number one project. Working my way through each file I started discovering information from the early days of this genealogy adventure.
The adage "you may already have what you are looking for" hit me right between the eyes. In the Springer family file were these two emails sent from a fellow researcher in 2007.
This form details the layout of the Springer family plot in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This section of the email discusses the relationships of various family members. The information stated about Daniel M. Springer (husband's great-grandfather), Margaret Todd Springer (husband's great-grandmother), Emma Springer and Raymond Ruth were common knowledge in our family.
Missed back in 2007 were references to other Springer relatives! The details about Jacob M. Springer (brother of Daniel) and family jumped right off the page. With this information I have located more data, found photographs, and connected with another family line.
Moral of the story? Don't wait until the lights go out to reorganize information in your possession. You may already have the answer.