I’ve been absent from the blog for a little while. Part of that is due to the current situation with the virus. You’d think that being in “lock-down” for a few weeks would have given me extra genealogy time, but a great deal of the work for our business has fallen on me while my husband took a 2nd job because business slowed down quite a bit at the beginning of the year. The other (and much happier) reason is that I now have a 3 week old grand-daughter who joyfully occupies a lot of my free time! Her mommy never has to ask twice if she’s looking for a babysitter for an hour or two! Add in some gardening now that the weather has finally straightened up and you can see why I haven’t been thinking about the blog!

But about a week ago, I began working with a group on Facebook for a 21 day “Extreme DNA Challenge”. The group was put together by Scott Fisher of the radio program/podcast “Extreme Genes”. I have enjoyed every minute of what we have done so far and I can’t imagine what is yet to come over the next 2 weeks! My favorite aspect of the group is receiving a video tutorial and then small task to complete each day. Some of the tasks are things we all will be working on for a long time to come, but little bites every day will bring that elephant down! Since everyone in the group is working on the same tasks, I know that questions will be answered quickly and success stories are celebrated by everyone!

And once again, my genealogy ADD has kicked in to take me away from my biographies project and now I’m knee deep in my DNA. And THAT has taken me back to my obsessive focus on John M. Smith. The WONDERFUL news is that I have been able to use the DNA matches for my mother, 2 aunts and 1 of their cousins to confirm my theory that his wife was Elizabeth Arbuckle! I have changed her Ancestry tag from “Theory” to “DNA Connection”. Whew! Which places my John smack in the middle of Mercer County, Kentucky, just as the tiny hint I found years ago had led me.

Elizabeth’s line is pretty “easy” (ok, even I had an eye roll there) to follow back. She explains at least part of the Scottish DNA I see in the kits I manage. So my next task is to focus what I’ve learned and have yet to learn about my DNA matches on John M. Smith’s parents. Again, I have a pretty good lead for him, but I need some DNA connections to help me feel more confident. As we all know, you can find a Smith family on just about every corner!

I hope you all are well and staying safe wherever you are!