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We all have a story to tell. Some speak louder than others. Listen closely to hear the stories of our ancestors echoing under our footsteps. They are the authors. We are the keepers.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

SNGF: Top 10 Most Satisfying Genealogy Events


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun inspired by:

10. My kids laughing about "Adventures with the Mom-Mom" which means one of the many times I hauled them off to a cemetery to find some ancestors! :)

9. Leaving a "message in a bottle" on the headstone of an ancestor buried in an unmaintained country cemetery and being contacted within a year by the direct descendent who had purchased the new headstone that had peaked my interest.

8. Finding my great great grandmother's grave after she wasn't were she was suppose to be according to her will. It just happened to be a cemetery by the same name just in Oklahoma City where she lived instead of Pennsylvania with her father's family like she had requested.

7. Digging up a receipt for a bronze vase that my great grandfather purchased for my great grandmother's headstone c. 1960, faxing it to the cemetery forty years later, and having them replace the missing vase free of charge.

6. Finding the original land warrant in the Virginia archives that belonged to my father-in-law's ancestor and framing a copy of it and giving it to him for Christmas.

5. Having my Dad selected to be a DNA baseline for a subgroup of the Wells surname because my line was well researched. I was on top of the world when he matched the other men from all over the country who were also selected as the baselines.

4. Tracing a man from a letter written around 1940 in which he expressed his fear of being murdered. Using census, birth, marriage, and divorce records as well as current Intellius and property records I found him alive and well and living within 20 miles of me. I spoke to his son on the phone to verify that he was the same man.

3. Meeting a cousin who grew up without her father and being able to email her a link to our family tree. She had no idea about anyone in her ancestry. She had so many questions and I actually had the answers. Every sleepless night, every moment spent researching and recording actually made a difference to someone in my lifetime. I gave her a family :)

2. Retracing my great great grandfather's footsteps. Finding his company's office building in a 1918 city directory. Visiting the building that was still standing. Finding the one person in the building that had an original floor plan and locating my great great grandfather's office. The floor that his office was on was closed to the public for renovations. However, since that time the building has been converted to a high class hotel and last year I walked into the room that was his office 90 years ago.

1. Being inducted into the DAR after finishing my grandmother's work she never had the opportunity to finish. I remember her unfurling a family tree on a large brown piece of paper with circles traced from quarters. I was about 12 years old. She pointed to the man at the top and said, "One day you will be a member of the DAR." It all began in that moment...


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