Yesterday morning (March 31st) I received a phone call from one of my genea-friends ("J") that volunteers at the local historical museum. The staff and volunteers are in the midst of re-organizing and inventorying the collections they have in the attic of the annex building. Now, "J" and some of my other genea-friends are aware of some of the surnames that I'm researching in Whitley County and "J" said they had found something that she thought I would be interested in. Really, really interested in. I could hear the excitement in her voice but she wouldn't say anything else.
Well, I'll tell you, it didn't take me long to get around and head on into town. That half hour drive seemed like it was taking forever.
When I arrived at the museum, I knew something was up since one of the feature writers from the local newspaper was there along with a photographer! The excitement was palpable. Without saying anything besides "Hello" they escorted me into one of their meeting rooms. And there, sitting on one of the tables was a medium sized box. Written on the side of the box were the initials "H. F." and in parentheses "Brubaker" and I thought, those are grandma's initials - Hazlette Ferguson.
By this time my hands were shaking and my heart was beating so fast I couldn't hardly stand it. As "J" opened the top of the box, the photographer's flash went off right in my eyes, practically blinding me. Recovery was almost immediate though as "J" pulled out a piece of paper - it listed the contents of the box - it was incredible.
This wonderful, amazing box seemed to be the key to nearly all of the questions regarding grandma's research on her families! Here were pages from the family Bibles of James Joslin and Bela Goodrich and Peter Wise - listing their children and dates of birth and who they had married and when! And the original marriage certificate for James Joslin and Abigail Goodrich. And the original will of Peter Wise, which never got recorded in the county books. It shows that Jacob is indeed his son! And there were letters, too! I had a copy of one written in 1849 from Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee to her son William but here were half a dozen more. And there were several to Lysander Joslin from his mother Abigail after she moved to Illinois in 1861.
There was so much in that box. Documents that grandma had collected from courthouses and archives, and more personal papers, and old photographs - and the photos were identified! I was absolutely flabbergasted.
Many times over the past 10 years I have silently (and sometimes openly) cursed my Grandmother for not providing the documentation for the information that was written down in her family group sheets. And here it is. To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. Tears of joy were streaming down my face as I carefully picked up each piece of paper. And then, I thanked God, and my Grandmother, for this miraculous gift.
This post was written for the 69th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: What if...
Ah yes, it is April Fools' Day!