Happy Sunday morning everyone!
With the power of the Internet all around us, all the time, I wanted to suggest that we all not forget the power of a simple shout out! After all, genealogy, ancestry, and family history are all about family and history, and people!
While we certainly find gems in the multitude of available online archives, review documents that are held in some far off land or far off library vault online with ease, and can read a rare book on Google Books that is not longer in print, do not forget to REACH OUT … TAKE A CHANCE… GET SURPRISED!
Yesterday I was pursing some records on the internet, reading about the Czech Heritage Partnership, and trying to understand the geographic differences between Spillville, Protivin, and Little Turkey, Iowa.
I had emailed a contact, but with the holiday weekend, had received no response. So I took a flyer, when I found a name on the website, looked up the phone number, and called. Left a message. Didn’t think much about it after that.
Then I got a message …… I had gotten a call back. The caller had returned my call and said …. based on my surname …. that he knew of a PHILLIPS family in the area and the area’s history, but not well.
I called him back and we had a nice exchange, but I could hear the disappointment in his voice as he heard I was not seeking this Phillips surname. BUT THEN, I mentioned I was looking for the KNECHTL family line and he said ‘I have to get out of my easy chair and get to the computer right now!’ I explained my line and he said the person I was seeking was his great-grandmother — and that while he had her name, he did not have that ancestry listed in his tree of over 20,000!
Our little chat morphed into an hour talking, an invitation to come visit and stay, a promise of Knedliky and Bohemian beer, and much more exchanged. If his sister from out of town had not pulled into this driveway we would still be talking I am sure!
So remember, don’t be shy in this business! Pick up the phone and try. Send good, old fashioned postal letters, email ‘on a chance’, but remember to take that initiative and call sometimes!
You might just find family on the line!
Onward To Our Past,