My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Follow Friday -- Follow My Name

We grew up with the same name, wrote to the Newberry Library in Chicago the same week and found out we were related. Let me explain.

On November 23, 1998, I sent an email to the Newberry Library, stating I just found out (after nine years of doing genealogy) that my 2nd great grandfather was the first Librarian of the Newberry, and could I have the address or email of a researcher who could help me.

A reply soon followed, stating they had researchers as well as a lot of information that they could send me. That short email also had this line, "I recently made copies of some material on him for another person" Of course I wrote back and said, "... can you tell me for what purpose, or is it confidential. I am wondering if it is a long-lost relative, or is he/she writing a paper?"

A few emails later, I got the name of the other Barbara Poole who was also researching him. We then corresponded and determined we were second cousins, once removed, but both of us were still a bit leery of the other. She lived in Texas, and I in Massachusetts. However, once I found out her aunt’s name I remembered many years ago, having dinner at her aunt's house. Once given the aunt's phone number, I called her in Duxbury, MA and she remembered my family and the Thanksgiving dinner.

Once the other Barbara found out about the dinner and other things, I felt she really believed me. It took us both a while to accept our new relationship.

Barbara, a teacher, and I wrote many times, but only when her classroom was open, as she didn't have a computer at home. When summer vacation came, we were out of luck and out of touch. I have tried contacting her in the past, but no reply ever came my way, and the elderly aunt passed away.

Several months after my initial query to the Library, I wrote an appreciation letter to the Reference Librarian who had the initiative to let me know about the other Barbara Poole. She had wanted to write an article about the two Barbara's connecting, for a little piece in the Library's newsletter, but I never heard if she did.

I call this story, "We have the Same Name" and I've told it several times, because it is rather unbelievable. It pays to follow leads and pray for somebody who is willing to go above and beyond their job duty. Now where can I find that other Barbara Poole?

Please see my post, with many photos taken by Diane Boumenot of the Newberry Library.;postID=1220187835891929620;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=2;src=link