Sunday, November 1, 2009

Which way did he go, George?

I can’t now remember what kind of a baked item it was, but when we were growing up Mother made something that sometimes had a little curly-cue on the top, kind of like a Dairy Queen cone but not so looped. Since we were kids, we created a game associated with these edibles. It became common for us to say, “He went that-a-way!” and point in the direction the topknot was headed. In our fertile minds, it had become the leavings of a dog surprised (and subsequently scared off) in the act of relieving himself. (Sorry for the rather crass reference so early in the morning!)

But as I look at the many surname files I’ve created on my computer, I kind of think we should develop some kind of a system to let us know what direction we were taking off in when we started pursuing some of these obscure surnames...and why. It might save a lot of confusion later on.

For example, last night I wound up pursuing the surname OSTRANDER. That was interesting because it was a line that did move to Colorado, originally from New York and then Illinois. And there was a girl in my high school with that last name, which obviously prompted a curiosity about whether or not she might have come from this particular line.

So later today I will probably create an OSTRANDER surname file. However, unless I make some helpful notes at the beginning of the file, I’ll have no idea why I was interested in the OSTRANDERs.

Consequently, may I suggest (for all of us who don’t already do something similar) that at the very beginning of a trip along another branch of the family tree that we leave some indication of why we’re going? A simple note like “I began researching the OSTRANDERs because I learned that George W. MINKS, grandson of David SCOTT, Sr., married a Mary E. OSTRANDER in 1885.”

That way we won’t have all these miscellaneous twigs floating around in our files which leave us wondering how they’re supposed to be grafted back into the tree. We’ll know “which way” our minds were headed when we suddenly took off in a totally new direction.

Just a thought as we begin a new month!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Lorraine and Katina--
    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for a Kreativ Blogger Award. You can get the badge at my blog, My Ancestors and Me, at