In the last two days I've acquired some significant new information related to one of my family lines. If the resultant bouyancy I'm experiencing were ice cream, I'd eat the entire half gallon. There are such long dry periods. The dicouragement creeps up on me. I become frustrated, petulant --- sometimes to the point of saying, "What IS the point of all this?" I've even wanted simply to walk away from my work and shirk off the feeling of responsiblity that this project carries for me. Then,… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 31, 2009 at 7:02pm —
Last night I found addresses and phone numbers for individuals in Reading, PA, who might be distant cousins. I need to make some cold calls, but I'm balking. Both people are up in years. Am I invading their privacy and their quiet? But they could possibly provide me valuabe family information. I'm not usually indecisive or hesitant about doing new things. For some reason, though, I feel a knot in my stomach when I contemplate reaching out through these calls.
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 30, 2009 at 1:15pm —
My cousin Amy - she's a first/once removed - told me (1) that she and her mother are attending a genealogical session tomorrow entitled House History 101 and that (2) as soon as her dad retires, he's going to enroll in a genealogy course at the closest community college. Though I'm delighted for her, I'm wickedly jealous. No one in my immediate family has gotten the bug.
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 28, 2009 at 5:10pm —
The first time I began to consider truly the weighty significance of the notion of ancestry and the personal history of all who've come before us occurred when I analyzed the William Cullen Bryant poem "Thanatopsis" to prepare to teach it. Now not a day goes by that I don't wonder when I walk the streets of Austin whose feet trod exactly the same path centuries ago. I love Bryant's image of all of those who have lived forming a hand-in-hand chain than transcends time and place. When I leave… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 26, 2009 at 3:30pm —
Will wonders never cease? Today I stepped officially into the 21st century social / technological world. I joined Facebook. That I do so had been recommended by Sarah - a GenWise member. But it was an unexpected phone call from a 70+ year-old cousin who is a great grandfather that pushed me over the edge. "Why aren't you on Facebook," he asked at some point in our conversation. I could put up no convincing reason - so I joined. Will I become socially powerful? Will I attract a multitude of… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 25, 2009 at 4:03pm —
For some reason this morning my thoughts run toward my maternal grandfather Joseph. I've always wondered what I would have grown up calling him. He was killed when he was just 33 years old and my mother 10. It wasn't until I was about 10 myself that I began asking questions about him. My grandmother, who lived with us, had an old pastel-tinted portrait that hung in the living room for as long as I can remember. I'd stare for hours at that portrait - as if the young man featured there could read… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 24, 2009 at 8:28am —
Today - for the first time since I've been reading and posting messages on various sites - I was able to offer someone some clarifying information. Doing so was just a tiny repayment to all those who've helped me. Actually, I find myself being intimidated by the level of knowledge some researchers possess. "Do they have a household full of LDS" tapes or reference books?" I ask myself. Or have they simply become vast repositories of what they've intellectually digested over the years? Actually,… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 23, 2009 at 4:17pm —
I really need to call my mother in St. Louis. No more putting that off. It's just that I'd love to be able to give her some exciting news about progress in tracing our ancestors. Like the time I worked on my hunch that Grandpa Kearney was an orphan train rider and was able to prove that he was. It's as if my feet are stuck in a sort of historical morass: no progress on the Irish end (who knew that in one small townland there would be so many people with the same name and eerily close birth… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 22, 2009 at 9:26am —
Truthfully, I've usually chuckled at my nieces, nephews, and friends who've created pages on MySpace and Facebook; and I'll admit to being mystified at the attraction of such websites. Last Christmas a twenty-something niece regaled us with her account of refusing the "friendship" of another MySpace member. "Why should I accept her as a friend," she emoted, "when she was horrible to me in high school?" I howled, wondering how anyone could take such stuff seriously.
So here I am - I… Continue
Added by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on August 21, 2009 at 7:09pm —