Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Joy of Genealogy

Returning from the trip to Florida, rather than jump right back into writing stuff I have worked on genealogy the last two days. Shortly before the trip I received an e-mail from one of my wife's cousins about their joint lineage, but had to put off doing much with it due to the trip. The relationship is her husband is my wife's half-second cousin once removed. I wrote to this woman some years ago, but we never established a sharing dialog. Now we have.

She has come into a treasure trove of pictures she is willing to share, and I have some information on the common line I'm willing to share. She will also have some info on that line that I was not able to dig out of archives. So this will be mutually beneficial. And, the next time we go to Meade, Kansas we will spend time with a "new" cousin. I say new because these folks and my wife's family lived in Meade for years and were not aware of the relationship.

I think genealogy is even more enjoyable to me than writing, if that's possible. It's like detective work and history fused together. I've always loved history, and have found, in this decade of genealogy research, that I love detective work. What joy I experience in finding a new ancestor, or debunking a family myth, or finding long-lost cousins, or corresponding with like-minded people even if it turns out we are not related. Meeting those living, breathing cousins makes up for all the time the genealogist spends with dead people.

I don't know how long I will do this, maybe only another day or so. The writing self-imposed deadlines are waiting, and should any of my proposals meet with acceptance I will find myself inundated. But for now, Cyrene (Snyder) Whitaker Thompson Bailey, b. 1839 d. 1902, you have my almost undivided attention.

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