I felt a certain amount of satisfaction this week as I was able to reunite two girls to their families this week. As I network and meet other genealogist on line, I am coming aware of how my lineage is sometimes the missing link. Names, dates, locations that I am very aware of is being sought by others.
Elizabeth Jane White, my direct great grandmother, lost her mother at childbirth. Two of her brothers and a sister ventured out and became farm hands away from their home. These three siblings have a long and well documented family history in "private" genealogy studies. I "met" (via Internet) the granddaughter of the eldest of these siblings this week. She "gushed" as much as you can gush via emails when I was able to provide the documentation and life history of this lost baby girl. Martha Caswell indicated she had been looking for this baby for 20 years. Needless to say Martha and I have been burning up the keyboards communicating and updating our family histories.
It has been kind of fun catching her up with my great grandmother and my great grandmother's siblings whom I knew personally as a child. I have been filling in the blanks, explaining the nicknames, occupations, and whereabouts of these people. My "new cousin" would ask me questions such as "what kind of clerk was Floid?". To which I can direct her to a postcard of a Christian Publishing house in Anderson Indiana where young people went to live and work as part of their "Christian Duty".
Records can only tell so much of the story.......filling in the blanks with "what you know" can only be accomplished by networking.
B: 1518 Kenn, Devon, , England D: 1588 is another "lost sister" I was able to reunite with her family this week. Her brothers are well documented. But of course Elizabth's name changed and her history is documented in her husband's and children's last name. Her surname becomes kind of a footnote to the family history.
But this week I reunited Elizabeth to her family. The response from these families has been overwhelming.
Using our American/English surname system lineage is followed through the male's surname. Usually the male lineage is a little easier to follow and research. The male lineage many times gives you great leads to follow. Clues for records can be researched through same last name children, same last name brothers, etc. This is not so with the lineage of females in our naming culture.
I am starting to understand another "layer" to this genealogy work. The truly deeper meaning of family, the need to reunite siblings, the enormous patchwork that is our heritage, and the importance of each genealogist to continue "their" work.