Like any good family genealogist the opportunity to convert a friend to a genealogy fiend is all too tempting and when you get two converts in one week it is definitely a homerun! I know the minute someone starts asking me questions about doing genealogy that my eyes start to glow and I take on the appearance of one that has been inhabited by aliens. I tend to rev into gear and start talking, without taking air. I resisted the urge and tried desperately hard not to frighten them off this time.
One friend was curious on how to start and where his family came from. I asked him to send me a few facts and I would see what I could dig up for him. He was amazed and is now asking family questions to find out more information. His interest is growing, the addiction has begun, my job here is done.
All of this conversation started over lunch with several friends. The conversation started because of the Faces of America programs that have been running on PBS. Everyone is finding them fascinating, including me. My only negative comment on the Faces program is the hopping form one celebrities’ information to another can get a bit distracting. I know they are doing the segments by topic rather than person but it creates a bit of a distraction for me. Once one friend had me going on how to get started and my offer of help the second friend jumped in.
He had a lot of information that had been written up by a past family member and he had it all in a file at home. The following day he brought his information into work and showed me. I resisted the urge to drool as I looked at his folder of documentation that had been painstakingly typed on an old fashion typewriter. Someone had put hours of work into the pages of family information.
He showed me a copy of a family tree that he had started writing out on paper, taking the information from the pages of type written info. I asked him about a line in his tree that ended at his great grandmother. He didn’t know any more about that grandmother. I grinned, got a copy of his tree and headed for my desk. Three minutes later I had her death record, her father and siblings and her father’s WWI record information. That was about all it took, he was hooked.