I have decided to participate in the Family History Writing Challenge. Lynn Palermo (The Armchair Genealogist), who sponsors this event and encourages genealogists who participate, requests a major commitment – writing about family history every day for 30 days. I started the Kitchen Sink Genealogy blog — as a way of writing my family history in small bites — in March 2007, and I doubt I have posted 30 times in that entire period! Each writer must also commit to a specified word count – and I chose 250 words. Given my record, I thought I’d better start small. Better to be realistic, than to set myself up to fail before I begin.
I am declaring today to be Find Long-Lost Cousins Friday. I frequently read that genealogy blogs are like cousin bait. In other words, if you build it, cousins will come. This year, the truth of that statement finally materialized. A long lost second cousin found me.
I don’t know whether my cousin Mitchell found the blog first, or the family tree I had posted at www.myheritage.com first, but it doesn’t matter. He left messages in the inbox at both places, and I was, and am, thrilled!
We had met once, 45 years ago or so, when my nuclear family visited his family in Virginia during a vacation. I have fond memories of that trip – driving through the mountains in our red and white 1960 Plymouth station wagon, hearing Southern accents for the first time. I also have mementos of that trip in my scrapbook – a motel brochure, a brochure with pictures of the Luray Caverns. I guess I was always sentimental – or maybe I was a budding genealogist even then, but didn’t know it.
Mitchell is long grown up and has three children of his own. He and two of his children recently moved within 100 miles of where I live. I visited him on New Year’s Day, and we gabbed about our lives, our kids’ lives, and family history for a couple of hours. He has shared some of his family mementos with me; now it’s my turn to reciprocate. Participating in the Family History Writing Challenge is one way of doing that.
Now, if only my long-lost cousins Charles and David Eugene Vogt would nibble my baited hook!