Back in the 1990s, when I first started with genealogy, most of the way genealogists communicated was through written letters. I have never been much of a letter writer, and with two small children, time was at a premium. Today as I go through my files and make scans of records, I find two letters written by a fellow genealogist and distant cousin. She was a wealth of knowledge, whom had written several books, and had researched our family and was a member of the DAR. I didn’t not keep any copies of letters I sent her and time and age have erased any memories of whether I did correspond. But now 25 years later, I regret that I did not follow up more with this sweet lady. Her letters beg me to share with her and have a wealth of family information.
I can not go back to that young mother, who was overwhelmed with housework, children, diapers, children, diapers… and tell her that writing a letter would someday be important. She didn’t have time to listen then and I can not blame her for losing the genealogy opportunity. For you see, she did raise three amazing human beings! Life was busy then and now it is too late. But I will say this. I am thankful that Elsie Sullivan took the time to write letters to a young mother just starting out. Her legacy to my family history is long lasting.
I am also thankful genealogist communicate via email and Facebook these days. I still am terrible at writing letters. 🙂