Not so coincidentally perhaps, because I desperately needed encouragement, the “couldn’t come at a better time” blessing arrived in the mail. I hadn’t walked across the street to the mailbox for two days; I hadn’t watered the plants for two days; I hadn’t been outdoors for two days!! To my extreme delight, another one of my stories was published in Mennonite Family History. Read the story published on an earlier blog message.
Wide awake half the night, I was writing a story in my mind. Before sunrise, I was handwriting the thoughts. To better appreciate the following, I suggest you read Speaking of family history. Here are my unedited words.
I’m an old lady now; I seldom leave home. I derive a great deal of pleasure “climbing the family tree.” Many hours each day on Ancestry.com. My “travel” experiences are remembered fondly because I’m “visiting” localities where I researched.
On Ancestry.com, while documenting Quaker ancestors, I reminisced about the Coffin Family Reunion on Nantucket Island (1992). “Armchair researchers” are deprived of a “connection” to the immigrant(s). I was in “the oldest house” (Jethro Coffin House) where my fifth great-grandmother was born (1722).
Checking additional “sources” for a great-grandmother (1852-1925), the location was cited as “Amo, United States.” A Google search confirmed my earlier, immediate, suspicion: Indiana (Amo, Clay Twp., Hendricks County, Indiana). It was an “I know that I know” experience BUT based on old-fashioned rubber-to-the-road, shoe-leather, research. I’d spent hours in the library of a Quaker college in Richmond, Indiana. I bought many books at the college bookstore for later scrutinizing.
A few miles from Earlham College, in Fountain City, I visited the home of Levi Coffin (1798-1877), first cousin five-times-removed. He has the title of “President of the Underground Railroad.” Prior to “climbing the family tree” I knew nothing about the Underground Railroad. (I grew up in Oregon and never saw a black person.) Two ancestors wrote about their experiences and I had the privilege of reading their books to my mother (residing in a convalescent home).
For several years, I was a resident in North Carolina. I visited the area where Quaker ancestors William Coffin (1720-1803), Priscilla Paddock (1722-1803), and families, lived. A Google search reveals many websites with details about Battle of Guilford Court House.
“The old lady” may not be “on-the-road” but enjoys indelible memories. Coast-to-coast: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, to Whitby Island, Skagit County, Washington. Border-to-border: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, to Palacios, Texas.
Those are my handwritten words; I’ve added some “links” as I typed the information into this blog message. If worthwhile subject for another story in Mennonite Family History, I need to do some editing and develop additional thoughts. Another morning at the computer. GRATITUDE for the blessing that arrived in a small package.