Sunday, August 16, 2009


Well. It's Saturday night and time once again over at Randy Seaver's
Genea-Musings blog for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This one's called
UGG, or Ultimate Genealogy Goal:

Here is your assignment if you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible

1) Answer these questions:

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy
research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy

Easy to pick for me: to fill in the blanks on my tree by breaking down
the two brick walls: the parentage of John Cutter West on my Dad's side,
and my Mom's Irish great grandparents on her side.

* How long do you think you have have left to fulfill this ultimate goal?

Who can say? I'll be 61 this coming Thursday, the same age as my Dad
when he died. My Mom was 72 when she passed away. On the other hand,
some of my grandparents and great grandparents lived into their mid
eighties. Que sera, sera.

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal?
* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal?

I'll answer these together. No. My first priority is keeping a roof over
my head, food in the fridge and pantry, and my light bill and car insurance
paid. This means I work full time in a bookstore 5 days a week. One of
my days off is Sunday, when all government offices and many other
resources are closed. Genealogy research is limited to what I can find
online nights and to what I can do for research trips during my three
vacation weeks a year. I expect that this will continue for the forseeable
future because I'm not going to be able to retire anytime soon. Research
trips are dependent on my personal finances which are always tight. For
exanple, my New England Genealogical Society membership expired
recently and I haven't renewed it because I can't afford it.

* Will you do what you need to do?

I'll try, but there are weeks when the $10-12 total cost to take the
commuter rail (including the parking) into the Mass. State Archive can't
be spared.

UGG indeed!


GeneaDiva said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing it just the way it is and it is this way for many of us. The business of living must take priority!

Becky Jamison said...

Very well said, Bill. We have a lot in common. I'm 61, work full time, barely have enough money to afford my subscription and have to rely on what I can find online for my research since traveling is out of the question. Good luck on breaking down your brick walls. I really enjoyed your post.

DianaR said...

Hi Bill ~
I think your penultimate sentence says it all - "I'll try..."

I remember hear Jacques Cousteau speak here in St. Louis many, many years ago. He was talking about the deterioration and changes he had witnessed in his lifetime to underwater areas where he had started diving as a boy. Someone asked if he thought it was going to be possible to save these area and he said it didn't matter. Somewhat shocked silence was follow by the further explanation that it didn't matter to him if is was possible or not, he would STILL have to do all that he could to try.

All we can do it try - and for some of us we will continue to try even if it seems impossible.

Good luck on those brick walls!!

Bill West said...

Thanks for your comments, GeneaDiva,
Becky, and Diana!

Laura said...

Hi Bill, nice to "meet" you. I appreciate your comment, and enjoyed your post.

I agree with DianaR's comment. We all try. I wish you well with your goals.