31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 23
I’m taking Amy Crow’s challenge for 31 Days to Better Genealogy and blog Amy’s questions, with my answers; I plan to make one blog post, adding daily. Hopefully by the end of the 31 days, I will learn how to better solve some of my genealogy questions. If you haven’t signed up yet, just click on the link below… never too late to catch up!
31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow gives you practical steps to make your research more productive. Whether you are just beginning to climb your family tree or have been doing this for years, you can adapt the tips and methods in 31 Days to Better Genealogy to suit your needs.
Day 23 – Reach Out to Cousins and Other Family Members
I think Amy’s office fairy must have been following me, as just yesterday I hooked up with cousins, and also met new cousins. I brought my portable scanner along… hoping new family photographs would appear.
I can never visit my hometown without stopping to visit my cousin, and I never leave without a new story. Many years ago, I shared my Bryan family history with him and he was quickly bitten by the genealogy bug. He soon began searching out cemeteries in Lumpkin County, Georgia to match all the new names I gave him; when I came home every summer, I reaped the benefits… he took me to visit those cemeteries. Those trips were so much fun, and we had great conversations on the ride; he took me places I never would have visited by myself.
On one of those trips, it was a scary ride on a narrow mountain road that wound ’round and ’round to the very top of Springer Mountain. The cemetery sat alongside the very beginning of the Appalachian Trail – awesome place! I’ve yet to return to that cemetery, but it’s definitely on my to-do-again list.
Another cemetery was down a muddy red-dirt road, with deep ditches on either side – about a mile back into the mountains. And when we arrived…. it was a dead end where the church and cemetery sat. My thoughts were…. if I don’t make it out – no one will ever find me!
Upon arriving yesterday, I asked if there were any family albums I might look at while there and I quickly heard yes – 3 tubs full. Although most turned out to be their family photos, a few older ones surfaced and I was happy to scan them and return the original – right on the spot – by using my portable scanner; I couldn’t live without it now.
As they flipped through the albums, I questioned my cousin on my grandfather, where he worked and lived, and also our great grandfather – whom we share. He had several interesting stories, that will turn into new blog stories…. moonshining just might wind its way into a story.
While not everyone is into family history, they do enjoy hearing the family stories! I enjoy and cherish them, as they give me stories to share back with them. And while some may or may not be interested in researching, everyone loves to hear the family stories; the more you talk – the more they seem to remember.
Amy’s post today writes about how we should be reaching out to our cousins and family members; today it’s so much easier with email, but don’t forget to pick up the phone – they may not want to write stories, but willing to talk about them on the phone. Always have paper and pen in hand…. I’m never without a notebook.
Facebook is an awesome tool, I’ve made contact with so many family and friends since joining and everyone loves to share stories and photos. You never know what they might have hiding in the closet… and share… and in the process become interested in family history; I never hesitate to share what I’ve found through the years. Anyone that becomes interested from your stories…. at some point you will reap benefits down the road.
So reach out…. reach out to those cousins…. especially the ones you haven’t talked to in years!
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