Archive for October 10th, 2009
The following is from Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings website! Thank you, Randy!
Yes, it’s Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun!
My friend, Leland Meitzler, posted his Top Ten list of “Most Satisfying Genealogy Events” yesterday – and it’s a good list – please read it and respond to it if you want to.
For today’s SNGF, if you choose to participate (cue the Mission Impossible music!), please:
1) Tell us about one (or more) “Satisfying Genealogy Moments” from your family history and genealogy research. What was it, and how did it make you feel? You can make a Top Ten list if you want to!
2) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on this post, or make a comment on Facebook, and tell us about your “moment in time.”
The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled!
by Sherry Stocking Kline, October 10, 2009
My Number One favorite all-time Genealogy Experience was one of those “ahhh moments” when Serendipity and the Angels smiled on us.
It was July of 2005, and my husband and I were leaving soon to visit our son in Illinois, and we were taking my mom who was 93 at the time, to Barren County, Kentucky for a day or two and try to locate my Mom’s dad’s childhood home.
I did some research before I left. I re-checked on library hours, wrote down addresses, packed up a notebook (and laptop), and called the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center in Glasgow, Kentucky to talk to the wonderfully helpful woman I had spoken with on a previous occasion.
I nearly hung up the phone…
I nearly hung up the phone when I learned that the woman who had been so warm and friendly before was not working.
That would have been a mistake.
I sighed to myself, decided to take a chance, re-state my facts and share my story with the woman who had answered the phone.
“I’m looking for information,” I said, “about my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Willis Washington Jones and his wife, Martha Ellen Smith and her parents, Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith.”
There Was Dead Silence…
There was dead silence for at least three heartbeats.
And then she said (and here I still get goosebumps) “Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith are my great-great grandparents, too.”
“Oh. My. Gosh.” I thought.
“Hello, cousin!” was my astonished reply. The genealogical angels had not deserted me; they had given me a wonderful gift!
My brand-new cousin’s name was Nancy Bertram Bush, she was ‘into’ genealogy, and she invited us to give her a call when we got to Glasgow.
A couple of weeks later, we were in Glasgow. I stopped at the courthouse, looked up some land records, and learned more about my great-great grandfather Smith’s land holdings.
When we arrived at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, I gave Nancy another call and we were in luck, she was home.
Nancy Had a Gift for Mother…
She hurried over to the Center to meet us, (and a nicer new cousin I can’t imagine meeting). She brought along a treasure, a photograph of my mother’s grandparents (complete with the names) that had been mailed back to the family from Kansas and presented it to my mom.
Mom had never seen photographs of her grandparents and when we brought the photograph home, we were able to identify Willis and his wife Martha in two other photographs that we had.
Nancy offered to take us around Barren County with her husband to try to locate the former home of Willis and Martha Ellen. We went up hill and down dale, we stopped at one family farmstead that had Smith family buried there, and we tramped through tall grass to record names and take photographs, but this was not our destination.
Our next stop proved to be the home of Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith, and we were able to visit with the family and see the land and outbuildings, some of which might have actually been standing during Charles & Virginia’s time.
The Family Cemetery Had Been Returned to Farmland…
Thanks to researching cemetery books we already knew that their family cemetery had been returned to farm land, which was disappointing.
Next we stopped at the Caney Fork Baptist Church and cemetery and walked through the cemetery and paid our respects to cousins, great-aunts and great-uncles.
When we watched my mother get out of the car and in her words “stand on the land her father had played on as a child” and look around and see “where he came from,” it was a meaningful moment for us all.
We were grateful we were able to help her do this.
Thank You, Cousin, Nancy…
It was with deep sadness that we received word about two years ago that our new-found cousin, Nancy Bertram Bush, had suffered a heart attack and passed away.
Thank you for a wonderful Genealogical Moment in Time, cousin Nancy.