So many exciting new things have been going on lately!
Firstly, I'm on the tail end of completing my second genealogy course, and have already signed up for my next two beginning in November - Methodology II and Vital Records. It's working out pretty well so far with my current schedule, and I'm really just loving the learning.
Mom agreed to take a DNA test for me, and I finally got her results back. I'm really hoping that digging into her results a little deeper will open up some new lines on her mother's (the Stevens and Steinigger) side. So far it has generally seemed as if all of my results from her side come from the Roby line, but this should certainly bring in some additional avenues to follow. Who knows. I'm starting to think maybe her maternal side just isn't interested in family history whatsoever, and that's why nobody's taking the DNA tests. That would explain her disinterest anyway. I know, I know, this stuff isn't for everyone.
Also on the DNA front, Casey's mother and grandmother have also received their kits. I can't wait to get their results in. My, seems like I'm going to have a LOT of work cut out for me, and will have to set aside some specific time just to dig into all the new matches for everyone!
Casey and I went to visit his Uncle Tom and Aunt Sally in Springfield last week. We had a lot of fun catching up, gorging on Sally's amazing spaghetti dinner, and the boys got to bond over a newfound shared hobby - pipe smoking.
I had even more fun the next morning at breakfast when Tom got rolling on old family stories. We tried to convince him to write it all down (he has an incredible memory for details), but I really wished I'd have pulled out my phone and gotten a recording of it all.
Last week we were able to celebrate two special birthdays in one - Casey's dad and grandma both! We went out to a nice meal at Circa STL, a little place with delicious food and walls full of old St. Louis memorabilia. It was perfect. Not only did Jim and Barbara get to open up all their gifts, but I was sent home with a little unexpected gift of my own - Jim let me borrow all of the old "Bonnie Gazette"s to scan and go through.
You see, the Reid side of the family had created and run a little personal family newsletter for years, and although they laugh about it now as if it were so silly, I was absolutely thrilled! I scanned them all as soon as I got home, I was so excited. I haven't taken the time to completely read through them all yet, but I can already see there is a treasure trove of personalities in there - everyone contributed their family news from all parts of the country, many even with pictures.
And it was so well done!
It actually made me jealous in a nerdy sort of way. Why didn't my family think to do something like this? And I thought about how Dad's cousin Dave sends his family emails out on a pretty regular basis for everyone, and how much I enjoy them. Perhaps I could contribute in some way as well.
Why couldn't A Kindred Spirit could be my way?
Almost equally exciting to me, I received my first contact on my new website yesterday, and I couldn't have been more overjoyed. A nice young woman from Gansevoort, New York was reaching out because she had previously seen information on Kenneth Petteys on the site, and was disappointed that it was suddenly no longer there. As it turns out, she had recently purchased the historic house once owned by Sally and Curtis A. Petteys (brother to Kenneth) and was hoping to share the link to his page with the historic board.
Not only was someone outside of the immediate family actually seeing my work on A Kindred Spirit, but was actually finding it interesting and wanting to share it! This was just the ego boost I needed to motivate me into getting things up and running as soon (and as well) as possible.
What's even better is that there were several boxes of old photos and memorabilia left behind that she is still going through, many of which no one has yet been able to identify. Of course I was the first to offer to help her try to identify them, and wonder if perhaps Barbara would be able to recognize any people or places in them.
So very exciting!