This past December I got a message on Facebook from a second cousin of mine that I am Facebook "Friends" but whom I haven't seen since we were at the same funeral 3 or 4 years years ago. The message was a follows (Names abbreviated for privacy) :
Hi there cuz!!! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!! "J" just drove up from Charlotte and her youngest daughter "A" is doing a school project & needs to know who our first family members were that came to America, where, when, what jobs etc.... I said you would be the only one that would know that??? Do you?? Mom says "hi" too!After reading it I realized that as the family genealogist I am one of the few that does know this. So from my couch in my living room on my smart phone I send the following reply:
I guess i am the one who knows that... I'll give you the summary... Our great great grandfather "MB" came over from Ireland in the 1850 after the great potato famine of the 1830 but not much later ... He came to Pennsylvania we are not sure on the exact port he entered but we suspect New York or Philadelphia... His occupation was soldier... He was in a regiment from Pennsylvania and fought a 4 year stint for the Union in the Civil War... He was at the battle of Gettysburg and his name is on the monument for Pennsylvania at Gettysburg... We know he settled in Hazelton Pa in the 1870 census with his wife and 7 kids .. We don't know if his wife came with him from Ireland or met her in Pennsylvania... Before 1880 he moved to the eastern shore of Maryland and bought a farm ... Although he farmed the land we have also heard he also made money by removing stumps using dynamite a skill he may have picked up in the army... He and his wife and 4 of his sons are all buried at St Joseph cemetery in Cordova... Hope that helps if you need any more information or names or dates I am happy to help out... Hope you are good too.This apparently it what was needed and from the response may have sparked a future genealogists. I day later I received the following Facebook message.
Thanks so much and happy New Year John!! "A" was so excited to have all of this info this morning!! "J" wants to plan a trip to Gettysburg now!! This is great! Thank you!!
There are a couple of lesson to get from this. First being Facebook friends with seconds cousins that you rarely see is a good thing as it makes you easily accessible. Being known as the family genealogist can help you share the information you have found over the years. You know the family origin story especially for your number one ancestor better than anyone and others like these stories and need them from time to time. So all in all a successful connection, had she needed more I could have loaded her with dates and locations and supporting documents, but for the simple school project she has what she needs and hopefully will get an A+.