Thanks to Jasia at Creative Genes for hosting the 121st COG. Her challenge:
The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Great Discoveries. ...It's time to once again share your latest discoveries, the ones that put a smile on your face, brought a tear to your eye, or for whatever reason made you say, "wow"!
Possibly the greatest discovery I made in my 20 some years of research was when I ordered a microtext copy of a surname book, "Lashbrooke, Lashbrooks, and Lashbrook (of the United States)", (Utica, Kentucky: McDowell Publications, 1986), complied by Mary K. Gritt Lashbrook.
This was very early on in my research, maybe the first year, surely in the first two. I had ordered a few other surname books and they had all been gold mines. When I ordered the Lashbrook work, however, I was fishing, pure and simple.
The catalog description at FamilySearch.org says: "Ten generations of Lashbrook families, most of whom are descended from William Lashbrooke, who was living in Prince William County, Virginia at the time of his death in 1760."
Heavens, at this point I had NO idea who I was chasing, so, I took a chance that someone I could connect to would show up in Mary's work. And, boy did it ever!
I have mentioned this a few times before, Mary did an outstanding job of the one name study of Lashbrook in the USA. She ended up with a few lone wolf lines. Instead of ditching the research she tucked the rough outlines in at the end of her work. And, there it was that I found Archie, in all his glory, with his siblings and parents, and extended ancestry. Mary had filled 12 pages with what she had collected. 12 wonderful pages.
(Below, the first of the 12 pages of Richard and Ann's descendants.)
I currently have 239 people in my data base with the surname Lashbrook. There are 6 brides married to Lashbrook dudes for whom I have been unable to determine maiden names. There is also one lone Lashbrooke (sad story that, filled with abandonment and resentments, and yes, it surrounds Archie, dear ole Archie, the starting point of most of the next 20 years of research).
I ran a descendancy chart with just names, including spouses, it is 75 pages long and includes approximately 2,250 names. I have been reluctant to find out how many pages it would take to print this compiled data for some time, last time I tried, it was well over 850 pages. But, I held my breath and tried again the other day, and it was around 1040 pages, including the index and one photo per person (where I have some graphic of some kind). Sans graphics the report and index are about 940 pages. That is pretty interesting to me, 100 pages of graphics and not everyone has a graphic attached to them.
Mary's work has been the foundation for all the research I have done since then, well over 20 years of research.
Several years after the searching began I was gifted with a copy of May's book, that alone is a story I should probably share sometime.
(Below, my gifted copy of the Lashbrook book, a treasured and valued possession.)
My greatest discovery, no doubt about it, was Mary's book on microtext and the 12 pages she tucked in at the end, for a family she could not even link to. I cannot thank her enough times.