Welcome to the January 18, 2008 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The topic for this edition is: living-relative connections. If there are any beginning genealogists reading this edition of the carnival, take heed! There is a serious lesson to be learned from the veteran genea-bloggers who have contributed articles below. The valuable information you can get from living people often far exceeds that which you will find in any book, document, or microfilm. It's tempting to spend all one's time on the computer searching databases, and we all feel a little uncomfortable about contacting complete strangers about our personal family history, but if you can muster up the courage you will reap valuable rewards!!!
Now, read on and see how the veterans have done it and what their results have been. This is another terrific edition of the COG, I know you'll enjoy it and learn from it. So without further ado, pour yourself a steaming mug of rich, smooth, hot chocolate with a mound of whipped cream on top (hey, it's January... brrrr!) and enjoy!
Starting us off today, Becky Wiseman shares her experience of Connecting With Kin at kinexxions. We could stop right here after this one article and you would understand the courage it takes to initiate contact with a total stranger and the rewards received for doing so. Becky writes so well and has years of experience as a researcher to draw on. Great article Becky! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Next, Bill West shares with us RELATIVELY SPEAKING posted at West in New England. Well, Bill seems to have connections with several other bloggers. Lucky him! I'm constantly amazed at the connections people make strictly through email and blogging. This is a great example of how even those of us who are phone-timid can make living-relative connections. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Bill. And congratulations on your 1-year blogging anniversary!!!
Lisa is up next with Signed: "Your Cousin" posted at Small-leaved Shamrock. Lisa too has had success in finding a living relative using the internet. Sometimes it's an advantage to have an uncommon surname! She shares her heart warming experience with us here. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!
Thomas MacEntee presents Living-relative Connections posted at Destination: Austin Family, saying, "Not an easy one to write . . ." Thomas tells us a story of finding a living relative who helps him understand why a branch of his family was torn apart many years ago. This caused him to think about a current rift in the family and he leaves us with a cliff hanger ending to his post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Thomas... we're waiting for that follow up post!
Terry Thornton is up next with My Cousin Lori --- One of the Becker Thorntons posted at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, saying, "I hope every family historian has the good fortune to discover they have a "Cousin Lori." Terry managed to find the key to unlock the mystery of the Monroe County, Mississippi Thorntons via his cousin Lori. Lori is the person we all hope to find in the course of our genealogy research, especially in the early days when we don't really know what we're doing. A wonderful story and tribute to a talented and generous researcher. Thanks for sharing her with us Terry!
And speaking of Lori Thornton, she's up next with Connecting Online posted at Smoky Mountain Family Historian. Terry isn't the only one with a helpful cousin. Lori has one too! Lori shares her tale of finding the value in documents beyond the census, introduced to her by a cousin connection she made online. It's so refreshing to hear stories of good things resulting from connections made via the internet. Check out Lori's article. She also takes a look at the gaps in her early research resulting from her lack of experience. Valuable lessons here! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Lori!
Jasia finds It's A Small World After All and writes about it at Creative Gene. I have to admit it was difficult for me to choose just one living-relative connection to write about, I've made so many! I plan to write up more about how I made connections and the value of doing so in future posts. This one is about finding a connection in my own neighborhood via a contact in Poland. I still shake my head in amazement!
Chery Kinnick presents With a Name Like "Johnson" posted at Nordic Blue. Chery shares with us some of the challenges of researching Norwegian surnames and how a little help from from a cousin got her started in the right direction. Luck played a part in Chery's research success as well as finding and contacting family she found in Canada. Now she's about to publish her family history! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Chery!
Randy Seaver has been connecting with others online for a long time. In Dear Cousin - I think we're related!, posted at Genea-Musings, he shares with us his story from the beginning of his internet experience. He now gets multiple emails a week from folks looking for a connection! Check out Randy's post for some good advice on how you too can benefit from making online connections. Thanks Randy!
Newcomer to the COG, Debra Osborne Spindle aka "Tex" presents Connecting With the Living posted at All My Ancestors. This is a wonderful article about connecting with living relatives. You just have to read it! Go now... do not pass Go, do not collect... oh never mind. Just head on over to Tex's place and read all about her and her husband's journey. Obviously Tex is a gifted writer and I know you'll enjoy and learn from her article. Thanks for sharing your story with us Tex!
Another newcomer, Jewelgirl presents We Are All Different, But The Same posted at Searching For Family Branches. Jewelgirl was very fortunate to have found a cousin who shared with her a picture of her great grandparents! What I wouldn't give for one of those!!! And that's not all, she tells of another living relative connection too but I'll let you discover that one for yourself. Check it out! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Jewelgirl!
Donna is new to the COG as well! Finding Cousins in Bavaria posted at What's Past is Prologue, tells a story of pure "genealogical magic". It's a feel-good story, one we all wish we could call our own! Do not pass up this article. It will inspire you to make a connection yourself, but don't expect any pretzels... we can't all be that lucky! Thanks so much for sharing your living family connection with us Donna!
Tim Agazio presents Finding New Living Relatives posted at Genealogy Reviews Online. I think the Genealogy Faerie visited Tim and waved her magic wand over him. He has the most engaging story to tell about making living relative connections! This is yet another example of using the power of the internet to reach people a world away. Tim's a wonderful writer and he has a great story to tell. Check it out! Thanks for sharing your experience with us Tim!
Jessica Oswalt shares Connecting With Cousins posted at Jessica's Genejournal. Jessica has had some success connecting with cousins using message boards and responding to online ancestor trees. Check it out! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Jessica!
Lisa Alzo presents Finding Family posted at The Accidental Genealogist, saying, "Just as I was about to give up on finding anyone left on my Alzo side of the family who could provide key details about my ancestors, out of the blue I was connected with my 90-year cousin, Mary." Lisa refers to this as a serendipity event and it certainly sounds like one! She has a less common way of getting her family information out to the public, she published a non-fiction book about them. Be sure and check out her article to learn the details. Thanks for sharing your experience Lisa!
Janet Iles presents Making connections with living relatives posted at Janet the researcher. Janet has made a number of connections with living relatives, even some who travel abroad together! She has also made a connection via a genealogical society. I can relate to that! I met my cousin Ray through a genealogical society too. Check out Janet's article to learn more about the various ways she's met living relatives. It's a good one! Thanks for sharing your experiences Janet!
Apple has a very unique way of Meeting Cousins. Her article is posted on her Apple's Tree blog. I won't give her unique method away but I will give you a hint... it involves taking pictures. Check out her article for a most enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing your experiences Apple!
Denise Olson recommends that for Making Connections: Check the Footnotes posted at Family Matters. You just never know where you'll find that tidbit of information that will connect you with family and add volumes of information to your family history. In Denise's case, it was a footnote and some great detective work. Check out her article and see if maybe you too could benefit from her technique. It paid off in spades for her! Thanks for sharing your experience with us Denise!
Cheryl Schulte presents The Family Kolberg/Colberg, Part Four and
Kimberly Powell presents an interesting dilemma in How Do I Ask a Perfect Stranger for Their DNA? posted at About.com Genealogy. Kimberly's done some good investigative work to find living relatives but approaching them poses a special challenge. She's after more than just family stories or old photos... she would like a DNA sample. Check out her article and share some advice with her if you can. This is an issue I think many of us will be dealing with in the years to come if we haven't already. Great food for thought! Thanks for sharing with us Kimberly!
Steve Danko shares his Relative Riches posted at Steve's Genealogy Blog. Understandably, Steve has been "found" by many of his relatives as a result of the information he has put on his blog. But he did his share of "working the phones" too, contacting relatives he hadn't seen in decades and meeting others for the first time. Steve has an impressive list of living relative connections he's made. Check it out and see the results of his hard work! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Steve!
And last but not least, OMcHodoy (Colleen) presents Blogging Bloodlines posted at The Oracle of OMcHodoy. Colleen is the person we have to thank for the topic of this edition of the COG. It was a great suggestion, wasn't it? THANK YOU COLLEEN! Her article details the many contacts she's had with living relatives over the years. It also tells about how she first got interested in genealogy. Well worth the read! Thanks for sharing it with us Colleen!
That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something in the process! Thank you to all of the contributors. Your articles were magnificent! And I want to say a special thank you to everyone who announces and promotes the COG. I try to make the rounds and personally say thank everyone via blog comments but I don't always get a chance. Did you notice that we had 3 new contributors this time around? The more the word gets out the better!
And now it's time for a Call For Submissions! We're going to switch the focus from living relatives to deceased ones. The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? Here's a chance to exercise your imagination... Would you have dinner in the present day or in one of their eras? Would you dine out or opt for a home cooked meal? What would you discuss at the dinner table? What would you most like to share with them about your life? This topic was suggested by footnoteMaven who I'm sure you've heard is feeling poorly. Let's cheer her up with some interesting reading while she's convalescing! The deadline for submitting articles is February 1st.
Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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