St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's A Good Thing

Last month, you may recall I shared finding the obituary for my
cousin. I also wrote of how I was looking for my cousin's daughter.
I'm sorry to report the funeral home never bothered to send my
information on to the family. However, I have struck gold. I found

It's a good thing I don't cotton to holding my breath while waiting.
Otherwise, I could be struggling for breath. It's a good thing that
I know people in the Pittsburgh area. It's a good thing that several
kind souls offered to assist me. Some of these kind souls are grave
seekers, I mean, genealogists like me. Some of these kind souls
share my blood. Some closer than others.

Anyway, the emails were coming in. "I found seven possible suspects
for you." "Here are more names and phone numbers." "Here are the tax
records." So, I did what everyone who grew up awhile back does. I
let my fingers do the walking. They walked and dialed and got the
standard, "No, not me."

Until last week when the phone on the other end of the line rang. A
young man picked it up. I explained who I was, and for whom I was
searching. He said, "Who?" And then he said those wonderful words
we all long to hear, "Yes, that was her maiden name and her father
did die two years ago." I surprised they didn't hear my shout all
over Fayette County and all the way up to Allegheny County in PA.

This dear daughter and I talked for quite awhile. As I had
suspected, her father had not talked much about his family. And
who's to blame him? Not me. What I hope to give this dear cousin is
a sense of who her father's family was. While we were talking, and
while I was telling her the little tidbits of lore my father had
given me about her grandfather, she exclaimed, "My dad was just like

I've now sent her some tidbits of information and some old pictures.
I know she needs time to read it and try to piece the puzzles
together in her head. I've also given her some keys to her father's
past. It's a good thing. Next, I'll be able to share with her
stories of her paternal family. It's a good thing. We've got a neat
history. And I'm willing to share it.

I lost my father when I was in my 20s. He left this earth much too
soon for my liking. However, the connections I have made with his
family have given me pieces of him. I see his spirit, I see his
eyes, I see his sense of humor in my cousins. It's a good thing.

So, my new found cousin, you've got a great family waiting to
embrace you and tell you of your father's family. It's a good
thing. We hope you agree.

My advice to everyone? Don't give up in your personal searches for
your family. One day the phone may ring and someone will say, "Yes,
that's my family." It's a good thing.

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