Saturday, March 18, 2023

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Are/Were You A Wild and Crazy Genealogist?

Hey genea-folks, 

it's Saturday Night again, 

 time for more Genealogy Fun!


Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) What is the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing you have done in pursuit of your ancestral families and their family history?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, a comment to this post, or a comment or status on Facebook.

Here's mine:

I'm a pretty methodical person. I don't do dangerous or criminal things on a whim (well, um, there were times when I was younger and drank more than I should have). I am also a fairly shy person - I don't like striking up conversations or meeting people I don't know, although that was worse when I was younger.

I started doing genealogy research in 1988, and had found quite a bit of information about my Seaver and Richmond lines in New England, although I couldn't figure out where the Richmonds came from in England. My brother and I traveled to Massachusetts in August 1990 to attend our uncle's 50th wedding anniversary, and I was able to talk to a number of the aunts, uncles and cousins about the Richmond family down in the Putnam, Connecticut area.

We had a free day, so my brother and I took off from Salem New Hampshire for Putnam (only 84 miles!), and stopped at a motel in Putnam. We had dinner, noticed a graveyard right next to the motel, and decided to cold call the Richmond people in the phone book. We hit gold on the second call - second cousins of ours with some family information. Russell was deaf, so we talked to his wife, and arranged for Russell to meet us at the Grove Street Cemetery right next to the motel. He came at the appointed hour, and showed us the graves in the cemetery. 

We hoped that he would take us out to their home and show some of the family treasures with us. He did, and we had a splendid time talking about the Richmond family line, looking at family photos, and seeing the family farm next door to their log cabin home. They remembered being visited in the 1930s by their Seaver cousins from Leominster, Massachusetts.  We gathered some of the papers and photos up and went down to a local drugstore to copy them. Here is a digital image of a xerox copy of one of the family photographs (I wonder who has it now?):

This is the James Richman/Richmond (1821-1912) family in about 1885, also showing Hannah (Rich) Richmond (1824-1911) and 8 of their 9 children.  

Linda and I stopped by to see Russell and Helen several times in the 1990s, and both died since then.

I'm sure that many of my readers have been more adventurous and outgoing than I have been in my genealogical pursuits!


Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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Seeds to Tree said...

Fred and I met in the Chicago area, but he was originally from Buffalo, NY and he'd gone to college in the midwest and stayed. This is before I knew what the word genealogy meant, but I was always interested in family stories. I'd met his parents a couple of times. When we married in 1979, we had the wedding and reception in Chicago for my family. Then his parents had an outdoor reception on their small farm in NY for their side. I didn't know these people. But I hung long sheets of (drawer liner) paper in the garage, one for each aunt and uncle and had a contest on who knew the most about the family - draw the family tree. I found out that two in particular knew ALOT. Several years later I contacted those two for more info and they were extremely helpful. They've all been gone for 25-30 years, and for years I had those scrolls of paper saved, no longer need them. SOOOO glad I did that. But I wonder what his family thought of me, and if they whispered about me and their odd introduction to me. I didn't see many of them ever again, but got some great stories.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Here is my not so wild and crazy post:

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine. I'm not so wild.

Judith Ross said...

I was in my early twenties in 1968 and was studying in Germany for a year. I had not really gotten into genealogy at that stage although there was a tradition of family stories. The post offices in Germany at that time also had telephone books for the country, so I looked up the one family that I knew something about - the Ledermanns in Oberstreu. I wrote them a letter and soon received a phone call inviting me to come and visit. I discovered that it is more difficult to speak another language on the phone, but we managed to arrange a weekend visit. And so I met this family and their three children. The man of the house sold the same brand of farm machinery as my great uncle in the Midwest. They gave me a photo of the original family home, which had been torn down two years before my visit. Of course I knew nothing of taking good notes, citing my sources, etc., but we kept in touch for quite a few years.