Today’s the Day

March 15, 2009


After struggling for 4 years trying to find a clue to my Cornish/Welsh/English ancestors on my paternal grandmother’s side I am finally going to be able to close some gaps I think.  All of the family that I knew was gone except one set of second cousins…both younger than I and both pretty much unknown to me.  Both also married so nearly impossible to trace.  I had exhausted every genealogical trick I knew…and some I made up along the way. 

Finally it came to me.  Use their maiden names and do a google search.  I struggled with that one for a bit…nothing really came up.  All of a sudden I had the urge to do it again the other day.  VOILA!  As if by magic one of them popped up and her married name was included…of all places on   (Now  recognize, this is NOT an advertisement for as I would normally not be interested in its venue…but it has served me well for my purposes in this instance).  I immediately registered and sent her a classmates email.  The message I got back from classmates was that if I wanted her to read it I needed to sign up.  SIGH.  So I did the $17 investment and waited a day or two.  When I heard nothing I just figured she wasn’t a member so I had thrown away 17 bucks. 

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained and I was undeterred.  With married name in hand I searched  again until I found her husbands first and middle names as well.  Further searching in google provided me with a home address.   (I was starting to feel like a crazed stalker and found myself wondering if it was this easy for me to get bits and pieces of information on the internet, what must a crazy stalker or a professional person finder really be able to find out about you on the internet!  Truthfully, it’s a bit of an unsettling feeling…)   Anyway, I digress.  I spent a couple days messing around trying to find something using hubbies first/middle/last name and kept finding nothing new (the definition of stupidity…?)  Finally it came to me…IT 101…broaden your search parameters.  Drop the middle initial.  POOF!  A home phone number. 

So I called.  I left a message.  We reconnected!  As it turns out, her mom, who is my dad’s cousin and would be about his age, is still alive and living very near me in an Assisted Living facility.  Her mind, I am told, is sharp as a tack and she would love a visitor!  I am armed with my questions and my charts to see if  I can close up some gaps.  I’ve sorted my old Lansford Pa photos to take for her to see…some are of her mom with my grandmother (they were SIL’s).  I’m hoping she can help me to identify some of the people in them.

In any case, it will be wonderful to see this woman who will turn 80 in July and hear all of her stories.  If she has no information on maiden names or birth order and only has stories of the family it will have been a day well spent.  I plan to take a notebook and capture every single story. 

I think the next thing I will do is to take the grands and visit Grand Army Cemetery in Summit Hill and check out the tombstones.  Seems a lot of ancestors are buried right there.



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2 Comments on “Today’s the Day”

  1. valentinoswife Says:

    Quickie suggestion – you might consider one of those small pocket sized voice recorders – she might feel intimidated if you take lots of notes while she is storying telling – and sometimes tone of voice will refresh her emotions for you later as you relisten to the stories!


  2. valentinoswife Says:

    Matter of fact – I should have mentioned, I set a camcorder onb a corner of a table and let it run while an elderly famnily member was going through old photos – it aimed at the photos, not her, as she talked we could see the person she was referring to! Better than just a voice recording!


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