Sunday, March 16, 2014

Connecting Through Find-A-Grave

At a recent monthly meeting of the Consultants who serve in our local Family History Center, I was asked by my friend Linda if I like Find-A-Grave or Billion Graves the best. I replied that I like each of them for different reasons. Without going into all those reasons, I want to focus here on one reason that I like Find-A-Grave. 

Besides posting memorials to our loved ones on Find-A-Grave, we are given the opportunity to post flowers or comments, to honor a loved one on their memorial, or to let any visitors know that we are related to that person being memorialized. 

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a woman named "Anna", explaining that she saw my "flowers and name" on Find-A-Grave at her great grandmother's memorial. On January 9, 2014, just TWO months ago, I had posted flowers and left this comment: "With love from your great grandnephew. Larry and Becky Jamison". When you do that, your name is linked to your email information. Anna wanted to get acquainted, find out how we were related and exchange any information we could on this family.  We were thrilled and have since communicated with her numerous times.

This is the photo I had found on this memorial. It's the first picture we've ever seen of any of Larry's great grandmother's siblings. 

Charlotte "Lottie" Alnora Meals Cochran (1867-1954), Find-A-Grave Memorial 24398104 
The photo above was not posted on Find-A-Grave by Anna, so she sent us this portrait that was in her possession. It's a beautiful portrait of a 45 year old woman!
Lottie Meals Cochran, 1912
Anna also shared this photo of Lottie (at right) with her sister, my husband's great-grandmother Clarissa "Clara" Jane Meals Jamison (at left). 
The bonus was that Anna shared this photo with us of the FATHER of these girls, Dr. Samuel Meals, who would be my husband's great, great grandfather. 
Dr. Samuel Meals (1815-1884)
We're so very happy and blessed to have met our cousin Anna and grateful that she's in possession of identified photos and is willing to share them with us. 

The lesson here is to get your name posted on the online genealogy sites. Anna would have never connected with us if she hadn't seen that I posted "With love from your great grandnephew. Larry and Becky Jamison" on the memorial of her great grandmother on Find-A-Grave. When my friend Linda asked at our training meeting last week why I liked Find-A-Grave, she commented that she had never thought of putting flowers and posting her name on family memorials. Now she has proof of the value in doing so. And we are greatly blessed by having done so! 

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