Thank you to those readers who responded to me either via email or in the comments section concerning the posting about my friend Gretchen Triplett. That blog article helped me deal with the grief and provided a tribute to Gretchen. And, even though I wrote from a personal perspective, I must have struck a responsive chord with her family members as a bit of my posting was used in her obituary.
Along with other members of our local genealogy society, I attended her memorial service and it helped to share memories of Gretchen and know other persons also felt a sense of loss. In addition, two other events during the past week have also been restorative for me:
From time to time I respond to questions on several (actually, many) genealogy Facebook groups to which I subscribe. Usually my attempts to help are those directed toward the Iowa-based groups and if I have knowledge that might help the person asking for assistance. Well, I was able to obtain an obituary from 1881 for a requester by checking the microfilmed edition of a newspaper. When I emailed her a copy of the item, she almost immediately responded with a thank you and was quite appreciative. Apparently members of the family have been looking for the obituary for a number of years. Maybe it was a fresh set of eyes that spotted it, even thought the surname in the obituary had been misspelled. (What genealogist doesn’t know about “creative spelling!”) Then she sent another message saying I had made 175 people very happy. That probably is the number of persons in the family association who are interested in this surname. Bur 175? Wow, what a euphoric feeling to know a small act on my part generated so much elation for other people.
The second story deals with research I am doing for a family member who is fairly new to the field of family history. She did not know the maiden name of her grandmother nor her place of birth. With some research, luck, and the help of a very helpful courthouse employee in South Dakota, I obtained enough information to learn the answers to those questions. The response of the family member was a very appreciative email in which she concluded by saying, “I feel like a person on the Ancestry television show “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Both of these success stories brought home the idea “that it is in giving that we receive” for I feel I was the one that benefited by lending a bit of assistance. Gretchen would be proud of me!