Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Going Back to my Roots

Get it?  Genealogy?  Going back to my roots?  Yeah, I know.....

Today in the Geneabloggers group is "Thankful Thursday" and I want to give thanks for the folks at the Estill County Historical and Genealogical Society.

As most of you know, I was adopted.  I worked on the genealogy of my adoptive family for some time, but met my birth family in 1992.  Shortly after, I began working on that genealogy.  I don't know if it was because it was "new and shiny" or if the family was in an area of the country that held more interest for me.  Maybe it was a bit of both.  Regardless, I was stuck.  I had no idea of anything past great-grandparents.  My situation wasn't one of calling Hoover, Henry, Allen or Sparks "cousins" because I knew of none!

I contacted the Estill County Library and they gave me the contact information for both the Historical Society and the then-President.  Immediately, I wrote to the Society, but made a call to the president.  I explained myself, my situation and what I was trying to do.  I know that small, rural areas are rather close-knit and closed lipped when it comes to outsiders.  I grew up in a small town so I knew the drill; however, I was met with such openness, I immediately knew there was something special about these folks.

As it turned out, the president of the Society and I were related through the Hoover family.  Within 15 minutes of that phone call, she took me back three generations to my 4th g-grandparents.  A few days after our conversation, I received a package from her with family group sheets.  I later received phone calls from various people she'd gotten in touch with on my behalf.  They shared photos and information with me and my files grew!

When I asked her how I could ever repay her for everything she shared with me, she told me, "One day, you may be in the position to help others.  Do that and you've paid me back."

So, for those of you that have enjoyed, learned or found information on a website I've managed, this is how you can thank me. 

Pay it forward.

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