Tuesday’s Tip: Talk to the Living

I confess.

Family History is like a puzzle. It’s not only about finding all of the pieces, but then putting those pieces together and then understanding the picture it creates. At times, this is a daunting project. I am still very new to the genealogy world, but I have already found myself (more than once) surrounded by papers, papers, endless papers, trying to make sense of a particular topic.

We can’t forget the most valuable resource we have: our families. Take the time to ask questions of your relatives and then listen carefully for their answers.

I also confess freely: I recently connected with someone on my mother’s side of the family, and she has been a treat to talk with. I had assumed that all of the “old family” had passed on, but in our conversations, I learned that one of my grandmother’s cousins was still alive and well (and living in the same city here in Michigan where he grew up). I also learned that this man was my mother’s baptism sponsor.

Now. The brick wall has been his parents: where they came from, who their parents were, etc. Do you think he might be able to shed some light on that? I do. And so, my big genealogy goal for this week is to take my own medicine. I cannot interview him in person at this time (though I’m hoping to do so some time next year), but I can write him a letter.

And thus far, I’ve been wonderfully blessed in my letter writing responses. We shall see what comes of it!

In the meantime, happy digging! And don’t forget to search for clues among the living. 🙂

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