Reflecting on a Year of Research and Writing in 2017

On the eve of the holiday season and with 2018 looming on the horizon, I reflected on the progress in my genealogical research and writing in past year. In order to keep interested family involved in the research process, I wrote a summary of those reflections on the results of my research and mailed or emailed it along with best wishes for the holiday season and for the upcoming year. Doing this keeps the family network alive and sometimes triggers sharing with me, a win – win situation.

An Annual Research Update to Family Members
The next three paragraphs will give you an idea of what I put in my research summary. If you have been following my posts over the past year you will recognize some of the names. I have removed the names of my matches or contacts for privacy reasons.

This was the year that I actually used the results of my DNA testing. At the OGS Conference in Toronto in 2016 I signed up for the YDNA test through FamilyTreeDNA. The YDNA test has not resulted in any helpful matches to date. My matches came to life when I uploaded my autosomal DNA sample from 23andme on the FamilyTreeDNA site. My first match was a second cousin, once removed, with whom I had already been in contact.  She is part of the Sims line to which I belong. The paper trail and the DNA trail agreed!

My second match was on the Eldridge name. I am working on the paper trail for this match. Great aunt Ellen Bolton married a Jefferson Eldridge, a Cherokee, according to a Bolton family Bible held by a researcher who has posted a tree on Ancestry.com. The couple lived in Oklahoma Indian Territory. It is a story tinged with sadness because they died due to an outbreak of disease and some of their children ended up in an orphanage. I am still working on the paper rail for this connection.

I did not delve into my third match until I started to investigate the Bredsteen family. This family is part of one of my Campbell collateral lines. Mary Campbell, sister of my grandfather John Campbell, married John Cameron. Her daughter Margaret Cameron married Martin Bredsteen. In searching for one of their daughters, Agnes Bredsteen, on Find a Grave, I found she had married an Alton. Lo and behold my third match was an Alton. Following up on that match put me in contact with another researcher who is researching the line. We have since shared information as she is building and maintaining a tree on Ancestry.ca.

Genealogical Directions in 2018
I will be delving deeper into my matches in 2018. I will need to include in my research goals for 2018 the need to learn how to explore my DNA results using Gedmatch and other analysis software programs.

You may wish to check out my blog posting from May of 2016, Building a Yearly Genealogical Research, Writing and Learning Plan before you begin to plan your 2018 research and writing year.

I wish all my readers a great research and writing year in 2018!
Alan Campbell
Past President
The Ontario Genealogical Society
© 2017

Don’t forget to register for the OGS Conference in 2018.

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