- I started putting my family tree on Ancestry.com
- I have made a lot of progress in organizing the family photographs and documents I have obtained over the years.
- I have met some distant and not-so-distant relatives with whom I have been able to exchange information.
However, I had reached the point in my research where having only a few facts and maybe a photo or two wasn't enough. I wanted to know more about the personalities of the people I have been researching for years. To do this, I needed to network with people who had the type of information I was seeking, like family stories and photographs.
I began with the Donaldson branch. My mom had only met a couple of her Donaldson cousins, since she was only seven when her father died and none of her cousins lived in this area. I did some research and found the name and address of a gentleman whom I believed to one of my mom's cousins. In return, a received a photocopy of a picture of my Donaldson great-grandparents and addresses of two other relatives. I contacted these two individuals and heard back from another of my mom's cousins. I have received a lot of information from this very kind and helpful lady. She provided an address of another Donaldson family researcher who is (I think) my second cousin, once removed. This lady has also been quite helpful. It has been a pleasure getting to know some of my Donaldson relatives.
I have also gotten to know some of my Dudley relatives. First, I met a third cousin, connecting through Ancestry.com. We have exchanged information and he also put me in touch with a lady who is my second cousin, once removed. I have also been able to exchange information with her and have been able to provide several photos of her great-grandfather, Charles Dudley, who must have loved to have his picture taken! I am also hoping to receive information from another Dudley connection in the near future. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met my Dudley relatives.
I haven't had quite as much success with my paternal lines. I attempted to contact one of my dad's Ballein cousins with no response. I heard from a very distant Ballein relative, but at this point we don't have anything to share with each other. If any Balleins, specifically those with a Brown County, Ohio connection, happen to read this, please contact me by posting a comment to this blog.
My goal this year is to try to find some distant Davis cousins. I made a connection in the Ogden branch, though. Unexpectedly, I received a letter from a lady researching the Ogden family and asking if I had any photographs I could share. She found my name and address on a pedigree chart I sent to the Brown County, Ohio Genealogy Society in the early 1990s! I was able to exchange information with her. She was kind enough to send me school pictures of my grandfather, James Quincy Davis.
Thanks to everyone who has been willing to share family information with me.