In genealogy and mostly life, I am astounded at those who are satisfied with the words "maybe", "could be" and "possibly" as a final ending to an unanswered question. For me, those are not answers, they are beginnings. They are unacceptable and unsatisfying, leaving me frustrated and exhausted.

Instead, I explore and search until my answer is "definitely and without question." It is how I was built which makes for occasional days of genealogical frustration.

The "maybes" and "possibly's" in my family tree gnaw at my core, especially the identity of the original Irish county of my ancestors. Years of research into my Irish Crawford and Rolston families have lead me to distant cousins. And a fellow descendent of the Crawfords mentioned County Donegal as a possibility of their origin.

Am I content with the possibility that the Crawfords immigrated from County Donegal?

Definitely and without question, not. My mind refuses to accept such a hypothetical what-if answer and so I tread slowly, searching for new records with clues to the Crawford's Irish origins.

Communicating this week with a fellow webmaster, I shared my frustration in determining my ancestor's home county in Ireland. A person of Irish ancestry, my friend discussed his own tribulation in looking for his father's Irish heritage and within his presentation, he recommended DNA testing. As a result, he narrowed his search to one county, allowing greater focused research.

What was once a great unknown to many genealogists, DNA ancestry is on the rise. Both shows: Who Do You Think Your Are? and Finding Your Roots, utilize DNA testing on a routine, weekly basis. It has become so popular, multiple DNA labs are offering ancestral testing and it is becoming a standard request with Ancestry.com.

The answer from my fellow webmaster intrigued me. If DNA testing helped determine his Irish heritage, perhaps I should give up my struggle and send in my saliva. So I started the process of roaming DNA lab websites, reviewing and studying what type of results I could expect.

The genetic information is overwhelming, difficult to read and understand, but my "need to know" and "definitely and without question" mind is intrigued by the process. Which means after studying every genetic lab known to the world, I will definitely enter the process.

At some point.

In the meantime, I welcome feedback from any of my readers who have participated in DNA ancestry. Please let me know if it has helped you and if it didn't. I am at an exploration stage for DNA testing and I have found that fellow genealogists are the best resources.

My "Maybe" is exhausted and my "definitely and without question" is aching to wag its tail and strut its stuff.

I need to know.

Keep searching for answers,

Cheryl