A couple of months ago I got caught up by Alonzo Ulmer, a nephew of my direct line and spent days chasing him across the country. (At least I got an article for our local genealogy society quarterly on "Pajama Genealogy" out of it and as editor I ALWAYS need articles.) If you'd like to see the start of this most recent obsession, the article, with a few added notes, is posted at:
Alonzo, who seems to have been something of a ne'er do well wanderer, is still nagging me to continue the research even though he is only a first cousin four times removed. Even the costs of his 436 page pension file didn't satisfy him. I've pressed on to his only child, daughter Virginia Opal, as well but she (and probably Alonzo) will come up in another, future, blog.
What concerns me is why do I get so fascinated and enthralled with these peripheral people. Last year, hours and hours were spent researching the family of Helen Fairchild for example. Okay, Helen was the first wife of my maternal great grandfather, Edward Payson Willson but she died the following year along with their first and thus only child. Certainly it was reasonable to add her parents and perhaps her siblings but I followed ancestry and descent and even the families of her siblings' spouses. To this day I keep an eye out for further bits on her relatives.
Do others get as intrigued and absorbed by people with little or no significance to their own work?