Eventually, I became the family keeper of…well…stuff. If someone had a picture of so and so, they sent it to me. If a distant cousin had some obituaries that he thought might be of interest, he sent them to me. If an aunt remembered that Aunt Cordelia’s sons were adopted, she called.
Which reminds me of a real treasure a nearby cousin brought over to us…the records of Charles Henry, the preacher, where every funeral, marriage and baptism he had officiated was meticulously recorded by date, names, place and how many miles traveled to the event!!! Holy Grandma Moses!!
After carefully reading through all of the entries, his records revealed that he had not only performed the marriage ceremonies of each of his 12 children, but he had also baptized each and every one of them! And not only that, at appeared that he officiated the marriage ceremony of the great-grandparents of our daughter-in-law! That meant that Great-Grandpa had officiated at our son’s great-grandparent’s wedding AND his wife’s great-grandparent’s wedding who lived miles away and, in all likelihood, didn’t know each other.
Now being the OCD type I am, I needed to verify that the names I had just read were truly our daughter-in-law’s grandparents. After a phone call, I had learned that this was a verified fact as her grandfather remembered that the preacher got lost in his horse and buggy on his way to the wedding. The notation in Great-grandpa’s ledger by their names read, “The night I got lost!” I didn’t have a affidavit on this but I was pretty sure that I had made the correct connection!
That led me to wanting more information. I needed more. Information. About Big Boss’s family, my family. Heck, I was even researching for friends’ families to help them get over a brick wall that had stopped their research cold. This ailment was growing stronger by the day. Little did I know that the addiction was taking hold of me.
So I made trips to cemeteries, courthouses, city halls, libraries, the Regional Genealogy Library 40 miles away. I made long-distance calls to Pennsylvania where I introduced myself to perfect strangers and hung up having found dear new friends/family members! I made copies of wills at county courthouses nationwide and strained my eyes going through microfiche rolls by the hour.
And then. And then.
The. Internet. Was. Born. Or maybe discovered!! Hallelujah and can I get an AMEN!??!
Thank you Al Gore. *snort*
The road to the internet was a slightly twisted one. We had dial-up. Yeah. Dial-up. For you youngsters out there, that meant you typed in an address, waited 20 minutes for the information to load, then scanned through lists. Millions of lists. And kazillions of names and dates. And then you printed off EVERYTHING because you were scared to death that you might never find that page again.
Ahh, but I was fortunate amongst the Blessed Researchers. We had hunters who were all big wigs in telephone companies regionally. One of them, on the first hunt of the season, back in maybe 2001?? asked if I knew what DSL was? I smirked and said, “Yep!” as I sat his beloved Bread Pudding in front of him and then I asked, “Wonder when we’ll have it out here in Fly-Over?”
He smirked back with, “Want DSL?”
I may…or may not have leaped/leapt into his lap with, “SERIOUSLY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Ha! He had me right where he wanted me. “Trade you DSL for that bread pudding recipe?” Now I had him right where I wanted HIM!
“For how long?” I queried slyly.
“Uhmmm. A year?”, he answered.
And the rest is history.
Oh you know what I’m talking about. I could search by merely typing in a name and BOOM! I had it. Complete family websites started coming up on my computer screen. And they had lots and lots of…stuff!!!!
Pretty soon, I figured out that it was indeed possible to sit all day long without food and only coffee while in my jammies and cruise around the world! How cool was that?!!!
In short, I was doomed. And my husband was worried.
More later as I have a cake to finish…. 😀