Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Saturday Challenge- The Helpers

1)    Was there a relative that was a big help in giving you family information?  Who and how was he/she helpful?

I told last week about my Dad helping me on that first assignment in high school by taking me to the cemetery and pointing out various family plots.

After completing the assignment, I wanted to continue and learn more about the family. Nobody around me was really that interested in it. My Mom did take me to a couple used bookstores looking for books to tell me about genealogy. She also drove me a few places and helped me connect with a couple cousins that share information, but her heart wasn’t in it.

However, one person in my family was interested and encouraged me to continue. My oldest brother, Jim, lived near Washington, DC. I would write letters asking him questions and he would give me what information he had about older members of the family. Soon I was sending back information that I had found and comparing notes with him. That interest and encouragement went a long ways towards starting me down the path to genealogy as a lifetime interest. Thank you Jim! (I know you’re reading this).

A few years later I “met” the other person that has been really helpful. A quarrel when I was a child had caused my Mom and her brother not to speak for a few years. While in college I ran into him and we got reacquainted. This was also, when the two siblings finally spoke and made up again. Kenneth also has an interest in genealogy and a passion for tracing our family. Together we have worked on the maternal side of my lines.

Kenneth & Jim 1952
Through the years I have done more and more work on these trees. I have done more research and gotten farther back than probably either of them ever imagined we could find. In the beginning they were both teaching me how to research and where to look for information. As I got more involved, I joined societies and continued reading and studying genealogy. In recent years I have been fortunate to be able to attend many different conferences and institutes as well as webinars to learn even more. Now, I am the one that is more skilled at it. However, we all enjoy sharing stuff between each other. It is thanks to the help and encouragement of these two people, as well as many others along the way that I got started on this hobby, career, obsession.

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