I just went back and looked and my January 2014 To-Do List and realize how different things looked a year ago. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but nevertheless. I had forgotten how focused I was a year ago on the Earhart-Hockman question. I’m happy to report that follow up led me to a tentative conclusion about my ancestor, Elizabeth M. Hockman or Earhart. I wrote about it here, in April 2014. I haven’t pursued this question much further, as it looks to me like the possible resources I need are not online. Another trip to southwest Ohio in my future? I should probably also look at the Genealogical Proof Standard and Thomas Jones’ book. Several references to how we know the person we found is actually our relative when that person lived and died without our knowing him or her have intrigued me since this is exactly the problem.
When I look at the question of organization and what I thought I would do this year, I also see that I didn’t follow the game plan precisely. I had thought that I would use Evernote tags to guide me (To_Analyze for example) and I didn’t. What I did do was start through my Denman file and add each piece of information I had already collected to the individual in RootsMagic and change the filename and put the file in the appropriate subdirectory. I didn’t make it through this one family name before I distracted myself and moved to looking at each of my direct ancestors to see what life events (birth, marriage, and death at least) I had good documentation for. I did the same work of making sure it was added to the person in RootsMagic including an image of the file if I had one and then renaming and putting it in the subdirectory it belongs in. I got through all of my great-great-grandparents and made a list in Evernote of what was missing. Not surprisingly many of the missing pieces were documentation for births; this included some that should have been recorded in a county or state registry and that I cannot find – yet. My intention is to move this list to a spreadsheet as well so I can sort it, etc. but that hasn’t yet happened.
My only-formulated-so-far 2015 goal is to work on (and I hope to solve) the mystery of how I am related to the two Denman cousins I have connected with. I spent a lot of time on the Denman line this last year and learned a lot, but we haven’t yet figured out or found evidence for how Michael Denman (c 1761-1800) and William Denman (1763-1858) are related although we are pretty certain that they are. I am working on getting my 4 siblings all to test their autosomal DNA and then will start on the Denman first cousins. There are a couple of men available in that group and I’m hoping I can persuade one of them to also do a yDNA test. I don’t know of any Denman men on my line who have tested, although there are a couple of Denman One Name Studies and at least one DNA study going on that would be relevant to my questions. So, if by any chance you are a Denman man who descends from John and Marinda Blackman Denman (my line), or from any of William and Ann Boorman Denman’s sons, I hope you will consider testing your yDNA as part of the study.