Some of you who read my blog closely (are any of you out there?) may have noticed that my previous post disappeared. It was a grumpy post, in which I was grousing about Family Search and their new focus on the Family Tree. I got some good responses that helped me sort out my thinking, and I decided that that particular post didn't need to stay on my otherwise usually upbeat blog, so I deleted it.
Today something happened that reminded me of why I love genealogy. I had posted a similarly cranky topic on a facebook page, complaining about why no one ever responds to my messages on Ancestry and other sites. (I guess I've been feeling pretty grumpy lately.) Many, many people responded, sharing their experiences both positive and negative, but among the many comments responding to my original post was one that said, "Elise, my husband's great-gram is ______ (1821-1902)." The name was the same as my husband's, so I checked his side of the family tree and the extensive tree that his cousin has created, sadly without finding the connection. But this started a conversation between the two of us, which led to some interesting things.
Since my husband's name is unusual and since her husband's ancestor and my husband's are from upstate New York, there must be a connection, though we haven't found it yet. But in the course of the conversation, my new friend mentioned that she was having trouble with a brick wall, not being able to get further than her great-grandfather in Germany. Since I'm writing a book about German research and therefore should know a little about it (I hope!), I offered to help.
I've only spent a little time so far, but what showed up right away when I looked at her tree was that her grandfather was a seaman who worked for North German Lloyd in the 1920's and who made many trips in and out of the U.S. I was blown away, because my grandfather worked for North German Lloyd in the 1920's, and while they don't appear to have been on the same ship, the connection is certainly there.
I was able to send her an image of a postcard, showing the North German Lloyd docks at Hoboken, New Jersey, where both our grandfathers came into port at the end of their journeys.
So today, following a period of grumpiness, I made a connection with someone through genealogy. Even though the connection is rather circumstantial at this moment, I have a new friend, my husband may have a new line in his tree, and I'm delighted to share history with a fellow genealogist.
I have so many reasons to love genealogy -- today gave me yet another reason. I'm happy.