The thought that generations to follow may be looking at our lives some day should be enough to bring us back to the present and motivate us to do something really exciting and notable for those coming generations to discover. The irony of that is what I do that's most notable in my life time may well be to provide the bridge between the generations past and the generations to come with the history I dig up.
But folks, none of this is done in a vacuum, in spite of what my husband sometimes feels when I am secluded with old census records and out-of-print books. I do hear from some of my immediate family when I share something new about one of our ancestors here on Henrietta or through email, and that's always rewarding. It makes me feel like I am doing my job as self-appointed family historian. In addition to the family I've always known, I also hear regularly from living, breathing new family members I have met through the research done on-line.
A kind of fun offshoot is a game called the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which I think is really funny. If you don't know about it, go to Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon on Wikepedia. Even though the game is to get from Kevin to any actor or movie within 6 steps, the truth is, everyone who is reading this has less than Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon because my sister and brother-in-law have actually delivered furniture to Kevin Bacon and his wife in the course of their furniture delivery business. I just thought you'd like to know that. And who knows, maybe someday I will figure out how we are related. But back to the original theory.
|My sister Cindy and Bro-in-law Steve|
The theory of Six Degrees of Separation is proven over and over again when people on Ancestry.com are able to contact others doing research on common ancestors or surnames. So, today I just wanted to tell you a little about some of these people I have met, just in the past six months, most of whom share ancestors in my trees.
Julie-Ed's second cousin. I "met" Julie when Ed's cousin Eileen got us together. Thanks, Eileen! Julie has done a lot of research on the Eaton side and been very generous with it all. I haven't met her in person yet, but we have exchanged lots of emails, photos and information. She lives up in Massachusetts and has done all kinds of tramping through cemeteries and taken photos of headstones. My kind of gal! My hope is that we'll get to meet this summer when I am up there again.
|Jessie Willett Hall and me|
|Lady May Budd, my great Grandmother|
Franklin Jay Ward and Lulu Budd Ward,
|Jessie and Charlotte Willett|
My Grandmother and her sister back row
Maryanna-When I was researching the story about Jenny Lind Lewis for my Henrietta Blog I found Maryanna on Ancestry. You can look back at the archives for January 13th posting to get the whole story. In a nutshell, this was just a story I read in one of the clippings my gggrandmother had saved. I had no idea why she saved the clipping but found the desertion of this young woman worth writing about. Maryanna helped solve the mystery of what happened to the husband and then she put me in touch with Wayne, who she thought would have more information.
|Jennie Lind Lewis|
|Josephine Patten Willett's Obit (My great grandmother)|
|Bell Rock Light, Arbroath|
And, just yesterday I received an email from my friend Debbie who lives near Abroath. I didn't meet Debbie on line but rather a few years ago on the golf course in Kissimee, of all places. I told her about our Arbroath roots and in particular the lighthouse in Arbroath when we met and she never forgot that. (She and her husband were really fun. Should I tell you that she ran into the back of my golf cart with hers? No I won't tell you that! It was very funny.) A year or more after our meeting in Kissimmee, Debbie wrote to me telling me that she thinks of me every time she drives by the light house. Yesterday, I heard from her, which was a wonderful surprise and she offered to go to some of the Year of the Light Celebrations, take some photos and even find me a little souvenir commemorating the event. Such a nice person. I do hope our paths cross again soon!
Some of these wonderful "cousins" send me email regularly and I have gotten to know them pretty well. It's always exciting to make the connection with someone who shares your 3rd great grandmother or 4th great grandfather. The people I have connected with are all so generous in sharing their research and their time. Mysteries are solved and coincidences are discovered that make the hunt even more fun. I hope that I have provided them with some helpful information, as well.
For me, these connections with folks all over the country and in Scotland, are right there with me as we share the exploration of the past together. Many of them are reading this blog now and they never know when one of their ancestors might be featured! I am sincerely thankful to all of you who help with the hunt and by providing your information and an encouraging comment here and there, as well as my loyal followers and readers. Directly and indirectly you contribute to The Hunt For Henrietta and I am always grateful for the help!
Some upcoming posts for Henrietta-
"Gramma Grammer-Jekyll or Mrs. Hyde?"
"A Paige From a Love Story" a story for Valentine's Day
"A Crooked Politician?"
"A Devil of an Ancestor-in-law"