Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Act of Kindness

I am not a religious person but I do believe in the Golden Rule: "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you."

The world of genealogy is filled with people who have been helped and are willing to help others by sharing their knowledge and time without asking for anything in return. I have benefited from many acts of kindness from family historians, the following is just one that comes to mind.

I was just starting out on my genealogical journey on the internet in January, 1998. I had a small amount of information about my CROCKETT ancestors before writing to a mailing list on Rootsweb with a query about the families of William Crockett and his son, James Crockett.

Two days later I received an answer from Elena Nairn giving names of Williams parents and the particulars of both marriages. She ended her letter by saying "I hope this is of some help. If you want to know anything else let me know. Good hunting, and kind regards, Elena Nairn"

Thinking that I had discovered a long-lost cousin, I responded with my line of Crocketts down to myself and asked how she was related. One day later, after explaining that she was not related to the Crocketts directly, she gave me the christening dates of all the Children of William and James who were born in Tring. Wow, the pieces of the puzzle were filling in quickly, all thanks to this kind woman.

The following Monday, I received a long email message with dates and particulars of every Crockett marriage Elena could find on a microfilm that she was borrowing at the Family History Centre near her home in Toowoomba, Queensland. She had copied the two pages of film that contained my great-great and great-great-great-grandparents and offered to mail them to me. These copies of parish records were my first documented proof for my files.

There was no way I could repay Elena for her kindness except send her a card of thanks, but I hope to help others as she helped me with whatever I can offer.

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