Catching Up On Research

My right hand is recovering from that peculiar hand cramp that comes from writing the word “Pennsylvania” about 20 times in a row — under “Place of birth of this person,” “Place of birth of Father of this person,” and “Place of birth of Mother of this person” for a family of eight in the 1900 U.S. Census. I could use ditto marks or arrows, sure, but that would make me a lax researcher, and we can’t have that.

I’m just now really digging into the data we received from a distant cousin of Aaron’s, back in January. If I thought that researching a relatively common name like Cook was bad (which it really isn’t, until people disappear and elope), I had no idea how challenging Schnuth research could be. Schnuth is such an uncommon name that there’s a good side and a bad side to researching it. The good: If two Schnuth families are living close to each other, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that they’re related. The bad: “Schnuth” gets misinterpreted as “Smith” (or misspelled as “Snuth”) so often that it totally offsets the awesome digital advances of the last 20 years of genealogy research (i.e. sitting at home, searching census indices in my jammies, versus spending an afternoon at the county library).

I’ve only just started double-checking the connection between Peter SCHNUTH (b. 1861) and Aaron’s great-grandfather James (b. ca. 1890/91), and I’ve found other branches of the family living in Pennsylvania that I just couldn’t resist documenting right away, before I forgot about them.

I get so caught up in research — connecting the dots, fitting the pieces together, drawing correlations — that it’s easy to let time slip by. Alas, I have training to attend at work tomorrow, so I need to get to bed so I can be fresh-faced and ready to go tomorrow morning. No marathon internet genealogy sessions like I used to do in my dorm room, years ago. Sigh.