Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:
Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1) Have you helped someone (a friend, a colleague, someone you didn’t know, etc.) with their genealogy and family history? Genea-blogger Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote on this topic last month in Have You Helped Someone With Their Genealogy? on Hound on the Hunt.
The easy answer to this is “I sincerely hope so!”
Like Randy, I have shared shared my research over the years. From the earliest days of the Internet to today, I’ve either maintained a web site or more recently, this blog.
When I began researching my family, it was the era of the Genealogical Helper. In my opinion, this was also an era of sharing. While the Helper discontinued publication, that idea of community continued on Genealogy.com’s forums, Rootsweb mailing lists and Ancestry’s message boards. While the Ancestry message boards are still there, their link is buried under the help menu and not heavily used. With the advent of social media, the use of Facebook groups and social media posts are now the ‘go-to’ places to ask questions.
While I am not overly active in various Facebook groups, I do find them a great way to both ask questions and to help others by answering questions. For example, I recently posted a question to a Mentzer family group about a Bible that I believed to be in the possession of a cousin. When asked by another member of the group for a copy of the Bible pages, I shared the images with the group.
I’ve also been trying to use the FamilySearch tree to share these unique sources that I have buried in my files along with the family pictures.
At times, I get questions about my research via my blog. A descendant of Nelson Crawford Stoner recently contacted me in this way. Based on that contact, I was able to share my research with her, including a footnoted report.
However, when it comes to sharing, my ‘best’ experience was an email conversation I had with a Curry researcher that spanned several years. Sandy was a descendant of Thomas M. Curry (Currey). Thomas and his brother, Providence were identified in biographies as the sons of Hiram M. Currey (treasurer of Ohio). At the time, I was trying to figure out my Currey line. I thought that my 2nd great grandfather, Hiram M. Currey (of Leavenworth), was the son of Hiram M. Currey (of Peoria). Unfortunately, I didn’t have much information about the Peoria Currey and was trying to figure out whether he was a brother to Thomas and Providence.
In our email conversation with Sandy, she shared a photocopy of an obituary for James Barnes Curry.
Because the Curry family had migrated to Oregon, Sandy and I were trying to locate Holt County in Oregon. After several discussions about this obituary, I wondered if Holt county could be in another state. That curiosity led me to Oregon City, Holt County, Missouri.
Since Holt County, Missouri is not that far from where I live (Seneca, KS), I made a trip to Oregon City, where I found the grave for James Barnes Curry. (Find a Grave did not exist at the time)
Thus, the mystery surrounding James Barnes Curry was resolved.
A search of Newspapers.com for “James Curry” in Feb 1886 and Missouri found the origal obituary published in the 25 Feb 1886 issue of the Holt County Press.
While locating James Barnes Curry in Missouri helped Sandy, the wealth of information she shared with me helped me begin to connect my Curry line to hers. This experience of working together via email has been a constant reminder to share my research.