Should I Be More Focused in My Research?

Confession: I am not the most focused of researchers. There I have said it. I tend to research a family line that a get a shaky leaf on, find a document about or research in new record set that gets released or whatever strikes my fancy. I would call my research a little willy-nilly.

I know, I know, I should do it better, organize, make a plan. So far that hasn’t worked for me or my schedule but there is something to be said for F O C U S I N G.

I recently decided to write about the Jeffery family, so I broke my blog posts into a series about the children of Robert Jeffery and Elizabeth Tipper. Great, focus, a plan, a lot of reviewing of my research, it was great. And then it happened, a huge breakthrough! I have been at this for a few years, new surnames being added to my direct line does not happen every day, and then it happened.

While reviewing and checking my records I went on the Genealogie Quebec website that I learned a lot about while attending the Ontario Genealogy Conference in Ottawa from speaker and blogger Gail Dever‘s ahhhmazing session. I don’t read or speak french so I was sure this site wasn’t for me. My family weren’t part of those early Quebec families (ya a little jealous) so again I was dismissive. I was so completely and utterly wrong. I won’t explain all the fantastic things about this genealogy site but let me tell you if you have ancestors in Quebec you really should check it out.

Back to my story.

One search, all it took was one search…I put in the surname Tipper in the search field and two results came up. Two!!

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 8.33.37 PM


I already knew about John & Catherine Taylor’s marriage but the first one was the ‘pot of gold’. You see I knew that Elizabeth Tipper’s parents were John Tipper and Gertrude ________   but I wasn’t able to find out dear Gertrude’s last name. My heart was thumping so fast and I clicked the link. JACKPOT!


Tipper John m. Gertrude Cudlip 1795

John Tipper & Gertrude Cudlip married at the Holy Trinity Church, Quebec City, May 2, 1795

Cudlip, yup that’s the name I had been looking for – C U D L I P, what a name! I love it, best   name   ever!!!  My 4th great grandmother has a name, Gertrude Cudlip, and yes, I cried. I said the name over and over in my head Gertrude Cudlip, Gertrude Cudlip, Gertrude Cudlip like a mantra, I didn’t want to stop. I had found her. (Am I the only one that gets this weird?)

I hurried to add this new wonderful name to my tree and waited to see what would pop up for hints, I felt there must be a huge Cudlip family in Quebec just waiting to be found, right? Nope, nadda, nothing, I thought Tipper was a rare name.

I did some research on the name and discovered it could be spelled Cudlipp, Cutlip, etc., and was most prevent in Devonshire, England but there does not seem to be too many of them. And where they are hiding in 1795, Quebec City I would surely like to know.

I guess genealogy isn’t a sprint it is more like a marathon…

Back to my original question, should I be more focused when I research, well if I am not ‘in focus’ then what am I? I think we all know the answer to that. I am not promising anything but with these results my motivation has increased a hundredfold to do a little more planning in my research.

Oh and BTW if you have Cudlip in your tree give me a shout!

  10 comments for “Should I Be More Focused in My Research?

  1. Nicole Patricia Madden Stephens
    September 17, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Hi Pat! I love reading about your research! You make me laughed! You know what? I did the same thing as you did! Repeating the name of my mother, and my father in my head so many times, I thought I was getting coucou!! I guess it is normal after all! Keep the good work, and perhaps one day we will find if we are cousins even though it would be distant cousin, it’s fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Thanks, it’s great to hear that I am not the only one!
      We may never figure out our connection on paper but our DNA tells us we our cousins and that’s good enough for me!


  2. September 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I think all genealogists can relate to this. I’ve made some of my most important discoveries whilst looking for something else entirely, and did exactly the same thing when I found Sarah Yates’s full name as you did with Gertrude Cudlip. Gertrude Cudlip is a much better name though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Glad to hear I am not alone and Sarah Yates’s is pretty fantastic too! Where are your Yates from?


      • September 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        They were from London but married my relative from Essex. So I was looking for a Sarah Something born in London in 1843…You can just imagine what fun that was!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. September 17, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I so hear you! I’m the same way…focus for a while, and then find something bright, shiny, and new and poof – I’m off on a tangent. While you’re correct, we probably SHOULD be more focussed, I think these tangents are part of what makes genealogy work so much fun 🙂

    So cool you finally found Gertrude’s last name – it’s the most amazing feeling in the world!

    Best of luck with your further research – focussed, or not *g*.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Thanks! I am happy to hear I am not alone in my approach to genealogy. Too much structure and it may take the fun out of it for me.


  4. Bruce Gordon
    September 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    One word “Squirrel”. I had a person contact me because I had their 3rd great grandfather in one of my trees and had to sheepishly admit that I had no idea why as they were two generations off a 3rd cousin twice removed. At a guess it was likely the funky names and I was on a roll that night. Oh look a Squirrel!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Patricia Greber Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: