Monday, 21 May 2012

Making connections is important

So about 2 hours ago I had a lovely chat with a 3rd cousin of my husband who lives in the UK. She's 79 and never married. I found her in 2008 when I was searching for any Moffatt relations who may be living in the UK as our branch is the only one out of 5 sons who were born in Liverpool in the 1860s to come to Canada.

She doesn't own a computer and so we've communicated via telephone and snail mail. It's very strange to think that writing a letter is a 'difficult and slow' way to keep in touch. I mean who really sends letters anymore? It kind of cool though, to receive a hand written letter from someone you've never met who is fascinated by the same family history! She gave me all kinds of information about the 4 older brothers who stayed in the UK which allowed me to fill in some blanks on my  tree.

  • What do I already know?
  • What sources do I already have?
  • What do my relatives know?
  • What has already been done?
  • Where do I start?
  • Who can help me?

  • This is a perfect example of how getting to know your elderly relatives works. It's also an example of how important it is to find other people or organizations who can help you along in your search for family history. I've received help from such countries as Tasmania, Australia, England, Wales, Italy, Antigua, Scotland and the United States. People from universities, archives, societies, blogsites, websites, museums, and even book stores have helped me in the past. Everyday people who just want to pay it forward on genealogy chat forums or who are related in some distant way have made me so grateful to be in this field. It never ceases to amaze me how generous people are in genealogy and it's a given that we try to share as much information as we can with each other whenever possible.

    So collaborate as much as possible with organizations or people who you think may be able to help. I get a special thrill out of knowing that I've helped someone solve a mystery in their tree.

    Be a hunter gatherer!!

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