March 9, 1998
This page is meant to encourage everyone who feels like they have hit a "brick wall" in researching their families. This page is also for people who like to hear success stories.
Last February I "got connected" to the Internet. Within two weeks I was reading query pages, not really knowing what I was looking for, when I saw a posting from someone who was looking for my great grandparents. I didn't really know anything about the Internet at the time so I didn't know how to respond. I did find it very interesting though. I was on another site about 10 days later and I saw another posting, from the same person, looking for my cousin. I had figured out how to e-mail by then and wrote to her.
Her name is Phoebe and she is my first cousin. Her mother and my grandfather were brother and sister. My grandfather talked about his family all the time but his parents died when he was nine years old and Phoebe's mom (also named Phoebe) was even younger than my grandfather. The children were all separated at that time. They had known each other, my grandfather visited his family in North Carolina every so often. My grandfather and two of his brothers moved to New York. The rest of the family stayed in North Carolina. All I ever knew were their names and stories about them that my Grandfather told me.
Phoebe and I now talk over the Internet all the time. She has shared all of her research information on the White and Jones families with me. She has gone as far as having copies of all her photographs made, all her documentation and even sent me a video of different family members from years ago accompanied with an audio tape so I would know who everyone was.She had gotten the video from another of our NC cousins who had the video put together from old family silent movies. It has truely been a wonderful year.
The highlight of this part of my story is that THIS WEEK I'm going to meet Phoebe in person for the first time. I can't tell you how excited I am about meeting her in just a few short days.
I've had other successes with my research. I've talked to many other people also. Some who are related and have also sent me much information. Some who are not related but have also been very generous with their time and research and with information in helping me find out more about my family. Thank you everyone!
UPDATE ! We meet - March 12, 1998
Today I met my cousin Phoebe for the first time! I found out right after New Years that Phoebe was coming to New York to perform in a concert at Carnage Hall in March. I live in New Jersey (very close to New York City). This meant that we would finally be close enough to meet each other -- in person! Our talks and e-mail over the Internet have been wonderful but this was really special.
Phoebe was coming with her choir as a group and they would only be in New York City for 4 days. She arrived at her hotel a little before noon on Thursday and called me. I started right over to the City. I was a bit shaky on my way over just thinking how unbelievable this all was. I was meeting my 1st cousin for the first time after 45 years. When I walked into the hotel lobby we spotted each other almost immediately. She had only seen one picture of me which was about 10 years old, although I had more recent pictures of her which she had sent. This was a very large hotel and I arrived at about 1:30. You know, I cant remember seeing anyone else in the lobby.
Meeting Phoebe, I felt like wed known each other forever in a way. We hugged and talked and showed some photos which we had. (We both forgot our cameras or you would be seeing a picture right about here). We didnt really have anywhere near enough time together. We probably could have talked for 4 days straight--instead of the 4 hours that we had. We talked about our families, present and past. There are so many bits and pieces to put together and it was wonderful to have someone who has the same interest in the same family history to bounce your ideas around with. This was truly one of the most wonderful, unique experiences of my life.
We got to talk for a while again (by phone this time) before Phoebe had to get her plane back home. I missed her as soon as I left her at the hotel Thursday night. Phoebe said that she doesnt think of it as saying good bye but as a NEW BEGINNING! Shes right.
On the way home from the that night I keep thinking of all we talked about and then I was picturing her in my mind and how she resembled the White family and I realized she has my grandfathers eyes, the same beautiful blue eyes!
Well be meeting each other again, hopefully soon and visiting the area in North Carolina where it all began -- and the best part is well be doing it together.
Follow every lead you find...you just never know what could happen!
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