Barry's Relatively Speaking: One Lost Letter

Posted on Oct 29, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Elizabeth shares the following experience.

In 1975, after much research, I chose five names from the telephone list of Ash surnames in the vicinity of Chippenham, England where my great grandfather was born and wrote to these people. I asked that they try to relate to my enclosed family chart. I had three answers but no additional information. Then, out of the blue, one Sunday afternoon, two years later, I had a transatlantic call and bingo, I hit the jackpot! This very British voice explained how

my letter had gotten packed into a box of books, unknowingly and unopened. After two years in storage, my letter came to life - Fate, I should say so. My greatest pleasure was to be able to mail a picture to England of the great great grandfather of my new cousin that had originally been mailed from England to the U.S. in 1877 to my great grandfather from his loving brother.

In June 1979, I visited Chippenham and Swindon, the home of my new cousins for three weeks and found that we have much in common, including the interest in genealogy. We have shared information and are working on publishing a family record together. I left England with the promise that they would visit me someday. Can you imagine my surprise when I found them standing at my door just three weeks ago - a promise fulfilled. That night, keyed up, I could not sleep so I wrote the enclosed few lines that tell it all.

May I say also, when the digging gets tough, try a new approach. We all have cousins out there somewhere.

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