Saturday, October 14, 2023

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Have You Helped Someone With Their Genealogy?

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:

It's Saturday Night again -

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along - cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Have you helped someone (a friend, a colleague, someone you didn't know, etc.) with their genealogy and family history?  Genea-blogger Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote on this topic last month in 
Have You Helped Someone With Their Genealogy? on Hound on the Hunt.

2)  Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or write something on Facebook.

Thank you, Ellen, for this great prompt.

Here's mine:

I have helped several friends, and some people I didn't know, by doing genealogy and family history research online for free in order to improve my research skills and expand my own knowledge.

The one that comes to top of mind is the case of Ed M. which I performed in the 2009-2011 time frame.  Ed was a member of our church in Chula Vista along with his second wife, Maria.  Ed was from Georgia, and all of his ancestry was from the southeastern states.  Ed had three children with his first wife, Elaine. He had lost contact with his four siblings, including a brother named Bob M., and wanted to regain contact with them.  At the time, he was bedridden with only his telephone to communicate with me and others, but I did visit him several times at their home here in Chula Vista.  

I took the names, dates and places that he gave me about his birth family and went to work.  I started with census records (the last one available was 1930) to identify his ancestors and their family members.  Then I used the Social Security Death Index, Find A Grave, state vital record collections, military records, etc. to find records to provide dates and places that made sense and supported the research.  I started at Family Tree Maker file and added to it over the months.  Eventually, I found 8 generations of his M. ancestors, all of his great-grandparents, most of his second great-grandparents, and some of his 3rd and 4th great-grandparents.  His M. ancestors came from Ireland into South Carolina in the early 1800s, and moved to Tennessee and North Georgia in the mid-1800s.  Before he died in 2011, I was able to provide a ancestor report from Family Tree Maker, and a M. descendants report, that summarized my work.

I used the public records databases to find his brother and three half-siblings' current addresses and phone numbers, and gave them to Ed.  I wrote a letter to his brother and half-siblings in 2009 in an effort to establish contact with them.  That worked, and Ed was able to talk to his brother on the telephone.  His brother and his brother's children attended the memorial service for Ed in early 2011.  I provided a similar report to Bob, the brother.  Neither of them knew much about their ancestry before their grandparents.  

This was very rewarding for Ed - it gave him something to think about and appreciate at a time that he was ill and dying.  He was very happy to contact his brother and learn about his family history.


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Barb Minor said...

Over the past 20 years I have created trees on Ancestry for my sister-in-law, best friends, former co-worker, chiropractor, and my son's godparents. Though they have appreciated my time, only one has been interested enough to continue to build their tree. I guess I have gotten the most out of the experience: learning how to research records in different countries and of Native Americans, and (sadly) discovering many Holocaust victims in one tree.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine:

Janice M. Sellers said...

Here's my post!