by Mike Peters
Christmas for genealogists can come at any time of the year. We receive our gifts throughout the year. They are cheap in terms of dollars but are priceless to each of us. Gifts may include a marriage bond or a picture of a tombstone. There may be new documentation that takes us back another generation or a picture of our ancestors. This year my great aunt gave me a picture of my great grandparents riding off on horseback toward their honeymoon. The gifts may come in the form of a family Bible or handwritten letter. My mother recently gave me a 1951 letter that my father wrote from the war zone of Korea to his family in West Virginia. It was nice to see his penciled writing on the faded letter and to share in some of the feelings that he experienced as a teenager in the cold hell of Korea.
But the most beautiful gift that a genealogist can receive is a cousin. I'd like to use this forum to thank all of you for your energy and effort. Many of you have been there for me re problems that did not relate to family history. I'm proud to call each of you a cousin and even prouder to list you among my friends.
Merry Christmas to all! May the new year bring with it a chance to rekindle old relationships and an opportunity to cultivate new ones. And remember to share your information. As good as it feels to get these gifts, it feels even better to give them.
As always, thank you for your support and as my Grandma Coleman used to say, "Ya'll come!"