Preparation is Key

It’s been a rough few days here in Maryland. Well, it’s been a rough few days for me in Maryland would be the more accurate statement. Sunday wasn’t good for me at all. It probably had something to do with the time change. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. To start off my no good day, I broke my Kindle. Insert gasps here. I love my Kindle. It’s what I use at night to fall asleep. I’m able to turn the computers and TV off and just kind of get my mind to slow down. My mind is never idle, but the Kindle helps me to slow it down enough to sleep. Well, the problem is it was under my covers somewhere when I woke up Sunday morning and I heard a definitive crack. On the outside it looks fine, well if this is what you call fine.

Yeah, that’s not going to work. So I’m going to have to call Amazon and see if they can fix it for me. Hopefully they can! It does have a limited one year warranty so we’ll see. Then as if I wasn’t genius enough, I tripped going up some stairs. I tell ya, when it rains it pours. So yesterday I took a mental health day away from the computer. It was wonderful, but now I feel like I don’t have enough time in the world to catch up.

I did want to talk today about my first trip to a repository though! It was many years ago now though, but I want to add to the consensus that you need to make an effort to get out to your local resources for some of your research. Mine is a little tough (As I’m sure many can relate to), almost all my research has to be done in other states. States that are at least 8 hours away by my count. The only smidge of my family that I can do some local research on is the Taylor family. I was gobsmacked when I was looking through the Taylor tree my grandma gave me, and I saw that the first Taylors we knew of were from Somerset County, Maryland!

There is still a tiny little problem though. It’s called the Chesapeake Bay. In order to go to the area the Taylors were from, I have to go all the way up to Annapolis, cross the Bay Bridge (EEK! I hate that bridge), and then go back down the other side of Maryland. Not impossible, but still quite a trip to make in one day.

My first visit to the Edward H Nabb Research Center was awesome! The only problem was I wasn’t quite prepared for what I was getting. I don’t even think I had a copy of my tree with me. In fact, this was before I even had a laptop I think. That’s quite a time, so between 2001 and 2005? I can’t be sure. The staff was very helpful anyway. The only problem they said was, “Searching for Taylors in this area is like searching for John Smith in Virginia.” Oh dear. Boy were they right. The first trip was an eye opener for me.

There are even student research papers on the Taylor family! I should mention that the Nabb Research Center is located on the campus of Salisbury University. So much of the staff are students/employees from the college.

This is the microfilm that I think I looked at on my first visit. It was literally littered with Taylors. I want to go back again and really go through. I did go back once with laptop in hand but I ended up getting ill all of a sudden and had to trek the 3-4 hours home. Luckily my Mom and sister were with me! Though my sister says she’s never driving me or my Mom over any of those big bridges again. To say we had anxiety attacks would be an understatement.

My point is, this local resource has entire sections of their library dedicated to the early settlers of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It just so happens, my family is one of these early settlers. In addition to the records though, they have people that are familiar with these families. Even though they aren’t related to these families, they’ve got the experience of being there for a lot of the research that goes on in the center. For example, the man who helped me didn’t research Taylors himself, but in doing his own research he knew to tell me where my Taylors were and how prominent they were. He was able to guide me very well for a girl who showed up without any idea of what she was doing. The second trip would have been much better if I hadn’t gotten sick and had to leave almost as soon as we got there. I’m pretty sure I had a laptop with me that time and a game plan.

So there’s my two cents on local repositories. Also, is there anyone who’d like to volunteer to drive a 27 year old and her mother across a bridge when they’re shrieking in the backseat? No takers? Wait, I see a Library of Congress number. There are no bridges to get to the Library of Congress! The student research paper doesn’t have one though, so I guess it’s the bridge for us!

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