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Thinking behind this site

There are two kinds of genealogical researchers. Well, more than two -- but I'll mention only two.

One person may travel and search exhaustively, and at the end of a few years an authoritative book or Web site may burst forth as a finished document -- the revealed truth about their 17th century ancestors. Such a person has been fortunate enough to find documentation and proof, and that is cause for satisfaction all around.

A second researcher (that's me) comes from a poor hard-working trapping and farming Scotch-Irish family whose ancestors for generations never made a will, rarely appeared in newspapers -- though occasionally in courts for nonpayment of mortgages or taxes -- and sometimes never applied for nor were granted land. If they joined the militia or army, they were always privates -- rarely corporals. And while traveling with the army, a lot of them were killed by musket or disease. These ancestors of mine had large, undocumented families, burying multiple wives in the process I suspect.

Where records are scarce, what is called for is a collaboration -- sharing records and theories among all interested researchers in that family, and PROPOSALS and POSSIBLE SCENARIOS that attempt to explain WHAT IS NOT CERTAINLY KNOWN. In the process of research and collaboration and guessing, it is ESSENTIAL to share proposals and BEST GUESSES with others. THAT is the purpose of my Web site you see here; anyone who sees infallible truth in the 18th century trees and scenarios I present is not reading what I am writing.

Of course it is my hope that enough puzzle pieces will fit and this enterprise will move closer to the level of revealed truth.

--Travis Hardin