I read a recent post by Elizabeth Lapointe on her Genealogy Canada blog about "filling in the dash". I found this quite interesting as I've spent a lot of time looking for the dates rather than the dash. You know the dates I'm talking about: birth, marriage, death. But what about what happened in between the dates or "the dash" i.e hyphen: the life the person lived, who they were, and the times they lived in.
I've spent several posts talking about the mystery of my paternal grandfather, Lee McNeill's, family, upbringing and the possible reason why he estranged himself from his family. Through my mistakes and attempts at the truth, I have learned some about "the dash" that he lived and some of those that came before him. Sometimes though it's been just a battle getting a name and dates, so how can I ever learn about "the dash"? Over the course of the upcoming posts, I hope to talk about Lee's ancestors who settled the rugged mountains of Mitchell and Yancey counties of North Carolina. I will try to accomplish two things: first to simply list their dates, but secondly, to talk about what happened to them in the years in between. In some cases, it's pretty limited. But perhaps if I spell it all out for myself, maybe I'll have a revelation of something I haven't researched before and expand "the dash".