I must apologize for my lack of presence on OS lately, but I cannot shake my compulsion and preoccupation of searching for my ancestors. My Aunt Francis and I have been trying to get “the book” of the ancestry work that my cousin Mary Alma worked on for quite some time. Mary Alma, a year younger than me passed away five years ago after losing her battle with cancer. The work she compiled would be invaluable to me in my genealogy research. Her father, my Uncle Johnny has held the book of family knowledge tightly since the death of his only daughter. I don’t believe he realizes how helpful her work would be to me, or how grateful I would be to have access to it. Uncle Johnny lost his wife within a year of losing Mary Alma. Honestly, I haven’t pressured him too much for access to her “book of knowledge.”
Last week I was searching for information about an ancestor, William J. I “Googled” his name and noticed that several sites revealed his name. I randomly clicked on one site and someone was asking for the names of all of his children. I moved on to another site as I was looking for information to help me – not looking to help someone else. Besides, the request for the names was dated 2009, so he or she probably had the information by now. After my search online yielded none of the information I was seeking, I went back to the site where the question had been asked regarding the names of my ancestor’s children. That information is in my folder, so I emailed the inquirer and asked if this individual still needed the requested names. I received an email within an hour that he indeed would appreciate the information.
It became apparent that the two of us had an ancestral connection, and he shared a bit more with me about William J. and I shared more with him. In a series of emails, it was revealed that he is a genealogist who had worked on the same “branch” of my family tree. He told me that in August of 2002, he was contacted by a Mary Alma from Florida to do research. He forwarded all of his correspondence with her, including all of the information he obtained for her. He was unaware of her death and had wondered about the sudden cessation of their contact.
I must admit, when I read her words in the emails to him I became a bit emotional. My sweet cousin Mary Alma had died before she could complete all of her research. She managed to obtain quite a bit of useful information from this man, and here it was right in front of me. Information I obtained from a stranger [actually, it turns out he is a third cousin,once removed] from a random Google search. A good portion of “the book” found its way to me by luck or happenstance.
Mary Alma’s work in addition to what I have acquired is a monumental leap forward in my research. I am once again going on the road to follow up and obtain documents to confirm the information I have received.
I am headed to the burial site of an ancestor whose great-great grandson erected a concrete slab, fencing and granite marker for his great grandparents. He did not realize that in doing so he was covering [over] the rest of the family members, including the patriarch of the family; who died in 1835. This should be an interesting journey.
Copyright: 2010 joyonboard