3.01.2011

Always Dig Deeper

Last April we purchased a home only a few miles from the one we sold. Although it was sound and sturdy, it required quite a bit of work to bring it up to date.

One of our very first projects was to remove the worn carpet. Ten months later, we also decided to remove the Saltillo tile in the sun room and lay porcelain tile throughout the house to give it a seamless flow. Removing the ceramic tile in the kitchen and dining room had been a very dusty project, but it only took a few hours to remove. We had hoped the same for the sun room, and the first few tiles popped up with little effort. In fact, they came up without breaking, so we immediately decided to save and recycle them.

As we took up the tiles, we looked closer. Imagine our surprise to find that beneath those tiles was another tiled floor! It apparently had been the tiled patio before being enclosed, and the tile was a beautiful dark glazed Terra Cotta with Talavera insets of blue and yellow. The more we uncovered, the more we began to see the intricate pattern emerge.

Genealogical research is very similar. We often begin assuming the most logical answers to our questions, but the deeper we dig, the more we realize we are likely to find something unexpected which changes the course of our research.

In my twenty-five years of researching, I have realized that just when you think you have found the answer, there are a dozen more questions. Our ancestry is very much like the tile in the sun room. Had we not uncovered the first piece, we would have never seen what lay hidden beneath. It's important that you don't miss out on the layers of your ancestors' lives by simply gleaning facts from the research of others. The details you find along the way from the various clues they left behind, is what makes the journey a joyful pursuit.

So always dig deeper than the surface of the facts. As with the tile beneath the tile, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find!


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