"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
- 19 June 2003

Catching opportunities

Okay, admit it, you have missed hundreds of opportunities to track down family tree information. Don't feel too bad about it because we all have said something like, "I should have thought to talk to them 20-years ago." or "I should have look for that in a deed book while I was at the courthouse."

In fact, every time we decided to do something, by default we are deciding NOT to do something else.

It is a fact of life; we always seem to find time to do what we really want to do! The trick is to catch those opportunities and it seems that we don't even see them until after they have passed.

One way to catch missed opportunities is to teach your brain to make the connections between information and people who don't appear to be connected! Training your brain, (albeit in my case that's a real stretch), will help you to catch opportunities to create new connections and add new information to your family tree. That's where the fun comes into your research. That pure joy when the pieces finally come together and that brickwall comes tumbling down!

Here is one trick to help train your brain:

Go through your address book or your mother's old address book and look for family connections. Then go to the internet "people finder" and look for family names still living in those towns/communities. Don't stop at the obvious because you are looking for new people you have never pursued for family tree information.

When you brain is in this active mode, you will start to seen new possibilities you have never seen or considered before. Look for connected people in new ways; be creative in your approach.

Another trick to try would be to get some family members together, in person, via e-mail, conference call, etc. and brainstorm for new ideas about coming up with new resources or family members to help break through your brickwalls. You never know what wild hair idea will be that little lost clue to unlocking the door to a whole new world of research opportunities.

Most importantly, keep your eyes and your mind open for new information and new possibilities in your research. Use the old mantra, "What if?" and you'll be sure to catch lots of new connections in your family tree.

Nicolas Martiau Descendants to Meet

Nicolas Martiau (1591-1657), "Father of Yorktown," was a captain of militia, Yorke Shire Justice, Burgess, military engineer, and Planter. He is the earliest colonial ancestor of George Washington and Thomas Nelson. The present Queen of England and Robert E. Lee are also descendants.

The Nicolas Martiau Descendant Association (NMDA) will assemble at the Williamsburg (Virginia) Hospitality House Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003 for the 4th Martiau Tribute weekend through Sunday, Sept. 21st. Tribute activities will include tours of historical sites, cruise, wreath laying at Martiau's Grace Church memorial, and historical lectures.

Prospective members (lineal & auxiliary) and history buffs are invited to attend. Lineal Membership is available through right of descent from Nicolas Martiau/Widow Jane Berkeley through daughters Elizabeth, Mary or Sarah. Elizabeth married Col. George Reade. Mary married Col. John Scar(s)brook. Sarah married Capt. William Fuller. Auxiliary Membership is available for spouse, friend, history buff, or descendant not wishing to complete the Lineal application form. (Non-voting rights)

Visit the NMDA website at http://members.cox.net/wi4k/NMDA.htm.

For further information contact: Page Warden, P. O. Box 1175, Williamsburg, VA 23187 or e-mail < marmoose@cox.net >. For membership information contact: Carol Shrader at e-mail < wi4k@yahoo.com >.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 26 Dec 2003 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604