Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Former Student writes

I always LOVE to hear from folks I've had contact with, whether students, peers, or those who have attended classes or conference sessions of mine. Yesterday I got a lovely email and asked permission to reprint it here ... and she said "Yes" so here goes, beginning with her response to my request ....

"Sure, as you are my mentor inspiring my solo research in the long northern winter months.

My biographies are brief, 2 to 4 pdf pages, heavy on fact drawn from research, salted with family lore & a pinch of my own perspective. A writing buddy who shares my genealogy interests encouraged me to put a bit of myself in the biographies.

I surely sympathize with getting there, distractions & all.
You are already a good way along in my view; great stories in your blogs & courses & conference presentations.

My biographies are promotional, too in a family fashion. Fleshing out the lives of the women so often missed in family trees. I forward them to my sisters. They are sometimes prompted by their emotions & memories to enhance my data.
The life stories also create common ground in our very different lives.

I am visiting BC family gatherings in April & will take Sarah's biography in hard copy with photos to share with a niece, nephew and great niece, all 21st century teachers like their ancestor. Secretly hoping to eventually entice one of them to pick up my work when they're done working for living & raising families.

Cheers from Ms.Sara,
Great Granddaughter of Mrs. Sarah Ward, nee Shaw."

and now her original note to me from one day ago

"Afternoon Pat from one of your old students who sat at the back of the class.
I was thinking about checking in with you to thank you for your ongoing dedication to research. These days I am reading months of saved messages from you, some germane to my ongoing passion for the stories of my great grandmothers. This winter I'm working on my 3rd biography, Sarah Shaw an English GreatGrandmother who lived her long life in Nottingham, Norfolk & Warwickshire. 1845 to 1927.

I'm about to re-read the notes you offered me in an online course a few years ago.

Today's message from you reminds me that there are updates and new learnings all round in my pursuit;, legacy & scotlands people.
I hope to be around for the latest online offering from you. My current challenge is those very common names pre-1850s; figuring who is the ancestor among many William Shaws & James Wards in the same area.

Please know that I am still using the tools from your course (maps websites, etc), even tho' you rarely hear from me.

Cheers from Miss Sara"

Thanks Miss Sara. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write. As I work alone, always in isolation, I often wonder if anyone is reading, or if any of what I do is helping - whether through my blog, my classes, speaking to groups, or at conferences! So when notes like this appear in my mailbox it gives me the strength, courage, and desire to continue. Thanks.

Happy Searching Everyone!!

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