Category Archives: Research

THE VISITATION OF NORTHERN IRELAND

For most of us who want to learn about our family’s past, the experience is in the telling and not the learning. Nothing wrong in that, but the decision to choose new paths after that becomes uppermost after a spell. Is the knowledge I’ve learn enough to spur me on or have I had enough and make the decision to stop. Like everything else we do this fulcrum point is reach at some given confluence of emotions, expanded knowledge, satisfaction of and reality of the moment. We can move on or dig deeper.

The genealogy bug is a persistent little point of contention that pricks your being with equal parts exasperation and trembling excitement urging you onward with the gnawing sensation that there was something we missed. So we research into depths that scratch that little itch of ours. For me the knowledge of knowing how much research is left to do here in the states leaves me daunted and tired at times. Time for something new!

One of time’s little surprises is the knowledge that developments move on without our knowledge. Coming across that tidbit sparks an urge to do more. While I have commented on John Jameson’s goals a few months ago and despite the fact that John wants to ascertain his ancestry, he has set himself a goal, which I believe is potentially bigger and of greater benefit to the world at large-the discovery and exploration of Northern Ireland. True, Ireland was a stepping stone for beleaguered Scots in the past who passed on to new colonial digs, yet for many others it was more than a sojourn from wrestling life’s varied sufferings, it marked a new life right there in the heart of its shimmering emerald grasses.

What John has done is taken an idea and moved it a step upward. His site Some Ulster Jamesons is a great way to encourage others into getting together and exploring the issues surrounding this small, but contentious earth-shattering isle and put it in the forefront where it belongs. He even has a Facebook page so we can all get together and share our thoughts and records.

  • And that’s not the only way to support this project. As you tackle your own family project you might come across a new site that’s developed help for Irish and Scots-Irish researchers. Tell someone about it or ask to post it on this page or on John’s.
  • Do you have an issue about something in your family tree-write an article about what needs resolving. While message boards are fine so many people use it that before long, your little description might be pushed back into oblivion in just a few days. An article provides an opportunity to explore this in a way that others can better understand what is driving you crazy. Clarifying your topic with supporting evidence not only provides a better vision, but it’ll be up on a page and seen by others over a longer period of time. While I don’t want to get into the message board business, I am willing to categorize articles written by my readers in order to pass on new thoughts, ideas and data.
  • Blogging is a great way to outline your goals and propel your perspective. John’s Ulster Jam?sons site will link your blog so others can connect with you. Anything that widens your outlook will widen others, especially regarding Jamesons.
  • While we can’t do your research for you, asking a question is free and easy. A fresh look, a different angle is tantamount to opening up new ideas. There was a time when I could spend long periods of time looking into someone else’s genealogy and still get up in the morning and go to work. Weren’t those the days!
  • Become proactive. I know everyone has busy lives. Some of my best days, though, involved multi-tasking and produced many a rewarding day, even as a father, a husband, landscaper(mowing the lawn), plumber, washer and everything else in between. But then, not everyone is me, either, and that I can appreciate as well. I enjoy history and learning about my past. You should, too, because our past has a definite link to what we do now and in the future. What the past states is that change is a necessary ingredient to sustaining your very present life.
  • Sharing is a key to supporting others in their search as well as yours. Locate a list of names, a biography or any type of record in your search you can always contact John or I and we can post a link to it. Find a map that details an ancient village or place that’s hard to locate; we’ll take that, too.

So hopped to it. As Sonny and Cher sang, “The beat goes on…”

 

(C) Copyright 2016 The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ)

 

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WHY CATCH BASS WHEN I WANT SALMON!?

I don’t get it! Here I am on ancestry.com looking through the records for information on my family. I try to be selective in my searches, yet every time I do so I have to search through a list of public and private records before I can locate the actual records of any given area. This means going through several hundred items before discovering the goody jar. I make a range of dates from 1725 to 1799, for instance, and a range of regions and oh boy I get documents that represent a hundred years from what I want and locations in other countries. I’m not keen about Ancestry’s search, yet FHL isn’t all that much better and I really have no experience with other record banks on the Internet.

So much of the information is watered down by the lack of filters, though on the other hand, the more filters the less records which creates a problem-what have we left behind? The more restrictive I get to an area or time period the more the algorithms may leave out the data I actually need. I need a formula that will rule out anything after 1823 and before 1733, that can also include Irish records but not American.

Am I asking for too much!? I used to like Ancestry’s search features. Now, there are so many duplication of records, so many public tree records and far too many newspaper collections that need to be waded through to find that one little gem that makes a difference. Perhaps Ancestry should divide these more populated lists more sparingly- maybe by year, locality then surname to start. Seems logical to me. I understand we’re dealing with millions of very diverse people, ethnically, and spelling variations, missing villages and old town names that have disappeared from our present time. I get the fact that boundaries changed, governments shift and wars destroy the documented history of our lives; we all want to leave some legacy of our passing, don’t we? Or is that just post-history thinking on my part?

Yet with the technology we do have I don’t see why the searches can’t be a little more inclusive when we reach out our nets. Why all the chaff? I do appreciate the whittling down of this conglomeration of data, only I wish I could cast my line into a more purposeful pond geared toward my branch of the family.

(C) Copyright 1985-2016, The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ).