Friday, March 07, 2008

Family Support

Sometimes you can go for months without making any new contacts in the family tree. Or, you can go months and not hear from the cousins you already know about. Your genealogy pursuits take a brief hiatus.

Then, all of a sudden, new family and old family reappear and spark the genealogy engine back to life.

This week I've added a new cousin to the family roster. She posted a message to the Frankum forum, seeking information about the Frankums in Wharton County. She had lost touch with the family over the years. Two of us Frankum researchers promptly gathered her in and assured her that she was not alone.

This week a fellow researcher in the McAfee line got back to work and has reminded me that I have some good leads that may allow me to break through a brick wall. I spent the week gathering up material to share with him and, in the process, reignited my interest in this line. The engine is stoked and I'm ready to dive into the McAfee pool with renewed energy.

The past two weeks I've been trading information with a fellow Mobley researcher and renewing correspondence with a Mobley cousin who always makes me feel better about myself when we trade emails.

Today, just as I walked in the back door, the phone rang. I answered it and found myself immediately engaged in a debate on a collateral Hodge line. The elderly man had apparently been having a conversation with himself and when I picked up, proceeded to chase his line of thought without even having introduced himself. Fortunately for him, I'm up on my Hodge line and was able to dive right in and keep up with him. When I asked him how he came to call me, he had found my website and just decided then and there that he needed to talk to me.

I was remarking to someone this week how isolated you can become when you are in a caregiving situation. You really forget that most people can drop everything and go see a movie whenever they feel like it. You forget that most folks can decide on the way home from work that they will eat out that night. There are days that you can get really hostile about being tied to the home place.

Genealogy is one of the things that keeps me sane. I have a whole network of internet cousins who are always ready to have a friendly exchange on some new item you have unearthed. Many of them I have never met face to face, but I feel like they are good friends of mine. I truly don't know what I would be like if I were in this situation without access to email and the internet.

The world is indeed getting smaller as a result. But my family is ever expanding.


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