Hello everyone. Happy new month!
Dealing with uncertainty, or not dealing with it
If, like me you really enjoy solving puzzles, what makes tracing your ancestors so obsessive is the fact that the more puzzles you solve, the more remain to be solved! Every time you find/uncover/reveal a new ancestor, you reveal two parents of that ancestor each of whom presents a further challenge.
My point here is that we have to get used to dealing with uncertainty. You are never going to get to the point where you know everything there is to know, although there was one LDS church member who reported the Norse God Odin into the IGI and thus seems to have different ideas. He was born in the year 600, apparently! I looked for Mrs Odin but couldn't find her, which raises other questions!
Anyway, everyone interested in family history seems to have vast lists half-done tasks and of things they need to do, sources to check, write-ups to do, and so on. It goes with the hobby.
One of the interesting aspects to a One-Name Study, however, is that you limit the uncertainty. We're only interested in the Howes/Howse/Hows and House parents and not in the others. And given that the population at any instant is pretty much known and has grown over time, the farther back you go, the fewer the people you need to consider. That's the good news. The bad news is that your study can be so large that you don't have a clear point at which to start and that every interaction with another person provides another avenue to pursue.
You can have an overall strategy in mind, but you have enormous interruptions and just have to get used to having many half-done jobs. It's rare that you can actually finish something, especially as the internet continues to grow.
I'm not complaining, honest! I took this challenge on in the full realization of how big it is. As well as having more puzzles to solve, I also get a lot more interactions with other people. Just one person who writes in and say, "Thanks for doing this," provides a glow that can last for weeks!
So in the hope of (a) being helpful to others and (b) finding more people who might help us, I thought I might share my half-finished lists. So keep an eye out over the next weeks for a new web page or two - itself a half-finished task! And I'm feeling the need for more pages to explain how we approach the study and on usage of the information. Data input will slow down for a while
Progress in June
We have kept up a blistering pace in the last month, however, with a total of 1,800 new people in the database and two major milestones achieved:
- we roared past 25,000 people in the database and now have 25,400+
- we signed up our 200th registrant in the month too
To me, 25,000 is extra significant; we have definitely crossed the barrier into a select group of very large studies and it's about 10% of my initial estimate of the total population we are likely to find.
Once again, thanks to everyone for your support, and in particular in the last month to David of Canada, and to Jean and Paul, the last two of whom have sent in big trees for their Howse families. We cannot yet connect those two particular families, but have now for the first time, I believe, connected the familes of Joseph Howse, the Canadian explorer, with Neville Howse, the Australian Victoria Cross winner, the connection being through the small village of Ampney Crucis, in Gloucestershire.
And, if you have Howes ancestors from the small village of Hanworth in Norfolk or the town of Manly, in the North-East of Sydney Harbour, you might like to note that we have just widened your family quite considerably by connecting these two communities. Howes that?
And if all of that wasn't enough, we have upgraded the software on the website with only a few hours of interruption, as a result of which we have removed the annnoying reference to "Norfolk Families" from the name of the database. Everything now seems to be working OK. So we will remove the "Stop Press" heading on the front page soon. It's been a busy month.
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