Recently, I had the opportunity to work for several hours on one project, seeking specific information. I searched through collection after collection, and all over the internet, only to be let down. It was frustrating, and I kept believing I would find what I was looking for in the next set of records.
Each day, on my phone, I get a 'quote of the day.' Just the other day, the quote was this one attributed to Thomas Edison. It read,
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
It occurred to me how fully this applies to genealogical research. We search and search and search and search, sometimes with what feels like no success. But, if we look at it the way Thomas Edison apparently viewed his work, we would see that we have been successful; successful in eliminating resources, giving us the ability to move forward with what we don't know toward what we can know. No wonder we jump for joy (or cry out!) when we finally hit the jackpot with even one piece of new information for our ancestor!
I very much appreciate being reminded of this. Now, to carry on...
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