One day, out of the blue, I received an email from someone saying she thought she was my cousin and wanted to confirm that. My banking security background kicked into high gear. Was this a phishing email? The boys would say my “Spidey senses” were tingling.
Yet I was compelled. This woman really knew my family tree. She gave me a link to her MyFamily.com site. I had to create a registration but it was free. The information she gave me was convincing enough to push me onward, though.
What I found there astounded me. There was a picture of a man who my cousin, Pam, said was my great-grandfather. I no longer could in incredulous. Looking back at me was the spitting image of my great-grandfather. Who knows how long I sat and stared at this picture but it was long enough for my husband to ask me if I was alright. He says I jumped a mile high.
I suddenly felt like a hole within me had been filled. Here were my roots.
There were pictures of my great-grandmother, in her beautiful wedding dress, and my great-grandfather on their wedding day in 1911.
My grandfather and his twin brother (Pam’s mother’s brothers) in their christening gowns were so intricate and I smiled at their knitted bootie sticking out. There were pictures of my father’s with his brother and sisters, too. I knew these people but not when they were younger!
I struck up an online friendship with my cousin, Pam Rihel. She soon came to visit me with her two grandchildren. Both of us were instantly amazed at how much her grandson and my son resembled each other. Take a look, what do you think?
My cousin, Pam, gave me family I never knew I had. She confirmed stories I had heard about my father’s family. She also dispelled a lot of myths I had heard. Either way, I now had an even greater insight into who I am, where I had come from. I can’t thank the amateur genealogist in my family for giving me this present. Thank you for all of your work for the non-genealogist minded people. We really do appreciate all of your hard work.
Jackie Masek is a homeschool mom, writer, and IDG contributor who shares resources and information at her website. LJSkool.com.
© 2012 Jackie Masek
Photos used by permission.