By Sue Seibert
I just love it when I am able to help a friend find more information on her family.
Yesterday was our monthly family dinner, and not only did all three daughters and five of the seven grandchildren come, but we had four old friends and one new friend join us.
Two of the old friends, Jack and Judy, live here in Mineral Wells, and we so enjoy their company. We all know each other’s children now, and we have a lot of fun when we are together.
The other two old friends I have know all my life. In fact, as our mothers were in Sunday school together when they were pregnant with us two girls, they used to tell us we have known each other since before we were born! And her little brother came, as well, with another Stephenville friend whom I hadn’t met.
Anyway, my oldest, dearest friend, Dianne, was complaining that they were having problems finding out about some ancestors on her mother’s side. It seems that a couple of the women were supposed to be Indians.
When she got home to Tolar last night she texted me a photo and name of one of the ancestors, and I was able to go online and find tons of information about her, complete with photos and stories.
Today I looked for a different ancestor and found more information and stories. This will help her put her family tree more firmly together!
I also discovered that her ancestor’s ancestor had the surname Snowball, and I suppose some of the family might have thought that was an Indian name. However, they were born, and died, in England.
On the other hand, I am trying to prove my third ancestor as a DAR patriot, and I am having the devil of a time! I have sent in the application twice. The first time, when I got the letter, I went back over it with a fine-tooth comb and did everything they asked. A different volunteer genealogist handled it the second time, and she still found one thing she didn’t like. I believe I have proven my case, but I will research more before I send it back a third time. I also have some local Texas DAR genealogists assisting me!
All this is simply to tell you that sometimes it is really easy to find your ancestors and sometimes, it is not. But I encourage you to keep after it if you are interested, and, more to the point, whether you are interested in genealogy or not, collect all you can, write down all you know. Record, audio or video, everything you know. Write down your childhood memories. Even if you don’t think they are important, your children or your children’s children may.
And, whatever you do, don’t keep your family history to yourself. If you have a cousin who is interested, share it. It’s a joy to have a family history – after all, some people don’t! If you have old papers and you don’t want them, ask family members if they do, and, if not, scan them and burn them to a disc, because, mark my words, someday someone will want them. Whatever you do, don’t throw them away!
Summer’s back is broken – enjoy it. Go out and take photos of family headstones and share them with your family and put them on Find-a-Grave. Every little bit helps to piece the past together for the future!