Skipping around can get you into trouble. And yet is so tempting to jump a few generations and get to the “fun stuff.” Recently I thought I had found my Ira Sargent. A “new” Ira was located in a state census and a little Web sleuthing combined with some census work had a potential name for the “new” Ira’s father. My half hour of research had reached a tenuous conclusion at best. At worst, I was dead wrong.
A website connected this “new” Ira’s father to several â€œMayflowerâ€ passengers and numerous early immigrants to Massachusetts. I could easily spend hours working on these new pilgrim ancestors.
However, there are two problems.
First, I haven’t come close to reasonably proving “my” Ira is the same guy as the “new” Ira. And second, the connection between the “new” Ira and his father is weak as well. Before I research the distant ancestry of the “new” Ira’s father, I need to make the connections in these more recent generations more concrete.
I should not totally ignore the past of Ira’s father. There could be a clue there that could connect the families for which I am looking. But spending hours documenting ten generations of the father’s ancestry before I am reasonably certain he is the father is probably not the best use of my time and is not good methodology.