According to my Research Log — which, incidentally, I nearly forgot even existed — I haven’t sent out any research requests since September of 2006. That’s over three years that my genealogy research has been sitting dormant.
I spent the evening going though our distant cousin’s research, comparing it to the census records I’d found online last night (and previously), and inputting some (but not all) of the information on the descendant report he sent. I hesitate to include another researcher’s information in my database without proof of documentation, since not all information sources are created equal. Still, when the data dovetails well enough with something I’ve already found elsewhere, I have no problem with including it… although I do make it my goal to get primary documentation for all of my dates and places and whatnot.
Tonight, I wrote a check to the Social Security Administration to get copies of the Social Security applications for Aaron’s Grandpa and Grandma Schnuth, and his Uncle Tom. I probably don’t really need Tom’s info, but I figured that the info was available, and I was requesting it for other family members, anyway, so I may as well pony up the extra cash to make my research more complete.
(The SS-5 includes a good amount of juicy details for the genealogist, including the individual’s name at the time of application, maiden name, mailing address, date and place of birth, father’s and mother’s names, race, gender, and employer — all written down by the person him/herself. It’s hard to get much more of a primary source than straight from the horse’s mouth.)
My goal is to fill in all the blanks in my research, now that I’ve gotten back one more generation via census records (and the research of others). I’m very close to making another generational connection, but it’s around the missing 1890 census… so I’ll focus on completeness before I try grasping at straws to get back one more generation.