There are many reasons for writing up your genealogical research. In a series of posts, I will just confine my comments to how important the process of writing is to ongoing research. I truly believe that the process of writing up a line of descent or a family shows you where, precisely, the holes in your research lie and what avenues you should next pursue.
The first example is an article that has been already accepted for print publication by the New Hampshire Genealogical Record, the quarterly journal of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists. The genesis of the article was posted here. This is a case of a genealogical domino effect.
By differentiating two Deliverances in the late 17th and early 18th centuries in New Hampshire, I, inadvertently, created an opening where my editor could proceed to identify the maiden name of the first Deliverance and give me (and those others who descend from her) another generation of ancestors. For years people thought that the Deliverance Clark who married Joseph Hanson and wrote a will in 1766 was first the wife of Nathaniel Lamos. However, I've proven that Deliverance (Clark) Hanson was married only to Joseph Hanson and that it was her mother, Deliverance (---) (Clark) who married Nathaniel Lamos. I also used other records to put good estimated birth years for everyone, and suddenly we had a Deliverance in Durham, N.H. born say 1658 who married Abraham Clark about 1680. Because this was a new way of looking at things, an available Deliverance was right there! [Sorry--I'm not spoiling the surprise yet; at least until the article is published.]
The point is that by seeing the true structure of the relationships, a previously missed connection could be made. My aim was merely straightening out the Clarks of early Durham (called Oyster Bay then), New Hampshire. In the Gen. Dictionary of Me. and N.H., p. 143 they are, rather unfairly, sloughed off as confusing. But that's what a good editor can do. The story is really hers and not his.
Lastly, this is the fourth article that pertains to the ancestry of Abraham Runnels 1719-1804 and his wife Hannah Smith 1718-1812. I wrote one, which led to the second, the third, and so forth. Those other articles were:
- William Reynolds of Plymouth Colony and Cape Porpoise, Maine, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register 162(2008):91-2.
- New Hampshire and Maine Descendants of William Reynolds of Cape Porpoise, New Hampshire Genealogical Record 25 (2008): 145-162.
- The Rev. John Buss of Durham (Oyster River), New Hampshire, New Hampshire Genealogical Record 26 (2009):57-64.
The domino effect work on research too. One thing just leads to another.