Thursday, 25 February 2016

Week Eight - "If you build it, they will come"

To anyone thinking about putting their family tree online and then debating on whether to make it public or private, I want to share with you the hidden benefits of making your tree public.

Years ago I went to a mini family reunion and was overwhelmed with all the bits of new information that I never knew.  Everyone came with photo albums to share and their own bits of family history and stories.  It dawned on me, that everyone else was in the same position that I was – we did not know it all or have access to one another’s photos or stories.

 How could I rectify this? 

So I created a family tree on line and used the premise "IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME".  And now cousins from around the world are connecting with me and sending in their bits of information and stories and photos.

Last Unique 150 Visitors to Website
The family tree becomes a wonderful resource for all to share and share alike – because we are all family.

But you may not know the other hidden benefit.......of non-family members reaching out!

There are so many generous and wonderful people in this world and I have had the good fortune to connect with a couple.

I had a gentleman that reached out to me and stated that his father in-law was called into an ancestor’s home and to clean it out after their death to get ready for sale.  There was a lot left in the home that was pitched in the trash bin but there were a few key items that were brought home.  And some of that was the art on the wall that was done by my ancestor.  They not only took pictures of what they had and sent them to me but also sent two of the pictures to me.  They sent it from England to Canada and wanted no reimbursement.  This was such a wonderful gesture and a real treasure.  I can never thank that person enough!  The picture below is now framed and hangs on my office wall.

About a year later I had another gentleman that reached out to me and stated that in his aunts old trunk of relics there were two autograph books that belonged to my great aunt and would I want them.  I was speechless – of course I would want them.  Again this was sent from England to Canada and there are no words to explain my deep thanks.  One of the books my great aunt had her soldier patients write in while she was working as a nurse in the hospital during WWI.  The other autograph book was for friends and family.  What a wonderful gift from the past!

Then just this past week there was a posting in the guestbook that said
My great-grandma was the cleaning lady at Dr. Palin`s house in St. George`s Crescent, Wrexham, at the beginning of the 20th century. She was a widow with 13 children, and occasionally the family would pass on to her things their children had long since grown out of, so that her children could get some use from them. One of them was a book called `The Infant`s Magazine`, that my granny learned to read from. It is inscribed on the inside cover: `Harry V. Palin from Mother 1895`. When I was a little kid, I used to read the book and wonder who he was. Now I`ve found this site, and I know that he was Henry Venables Palin, 1887-1954.

The above may not seem much to you, but it is a little tidbit that I am thrilled to learn.  One being that my ancestors were kindly people and more than willing to share their treasures with others.  And knowing that this little book is still around today and still being treasured makes me smile.

I just wish the person that wrote this had left their email address so I could thank them.  Hopefully they will read this and know that I appreciate it very, very much!

Even though this weeks entry has nothing to do with a new ancestor it does pertain to a new entry in the guestbook book.  I probably should have entitled this weeks blog entry  as "With Much Love and Many Thanks"!

No comments:

Post a Comment