Four Years On

Time for a pep talk.

About four years ago, I started this blog to keep track of my progress finding my Thompson family. A pretty narrow scope. Straight up the male line. That was my intent.

Once I entered the realm of genetic genealogy, the scope creep was inevitable. My Y DNA results were ambiguous. My autosomal DNA results were and are a tangled mess. I’ve contemplated everything from pre-historic human migrations to the birth of my own grandfather in 1925. That is a lot of ground to cover and most of it could not really be considered “Thompson” research.

Now, I’m on the edge of exploring my Finks family through autosomal DNA and I’ve been actively pursuing my Seelyes and Beadles for a few years. They help me to define our shared DNA and highlight where my straight paternal roots may lie but they are also outside my initial intent for this particular blog.

In the beginning I saw myself creating nice tidy little boxes for my different separate families, but that hasn’t proven to be the case. In trying to find one thread in my spiderweb of ancestry, I’ve had to touch on every other thread. In the end, it seems that my narrow focus was really, really short sighted. Families are not nice and tidy. They are messy and organic.

It’s become clear (as I’ve said quite a few times) that I cannot define one part of my heritage without defining them all.

I started this to research my Thompson family. Along the way “Thompson” has become a bigger tent. I’m researching my paternal family and it’s a little more complicated than I expected. It’s bigger than I thought. More inclusive and yet much more elusive too. The easy answers are gone.

I cannot say what the next years will bring. If’ they’re like the last four they will be full of surprises and mystery and a lot of waiting around for documents to come in the mail, for people to share and for tests to complete. I do some of my best work in that waiting around phase.

I will grow and change and my “Thompson” family will grow and change too. The tent will get bigger, I’m sure. It’s okay though. We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns.

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