Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Gifts

Who knew family trees and compilations of family documents, stories, and data would serve as a great holiday gift? I have spent all of November and December putting together Christmas gifts for spouses and children as well as Anniversary gifts for couples.

Some of the gifts were extremely fun to research. One, for example, was to prove a family myth as accurate. (Her husband didn’t believe her family folklore that she came from Irish royalty.). Well, it was proven possibly, maybe, perhaps, TRUE! No, I couldn’t prove in 40 hours that she was related to a Royal family of the 9th century, but I could give her the history of her maiden name, trace her family to the arrival to the USA and place her family in the same country and “general vicinity as the Royal Family.” Well, that was enough for my client, and her husband, who decided to give up the argument and accept his “possible royal-blooded wife.”

Another set of clients (cousins) needed to prove which GGF built the first grist mill of some secluded town in Missouri. I have no idea what the wager was, but it sounded like a family feud, and I really hope I proved it correctly. I haven’t heard from them since.

Basic family trees, with census records, marriage licenses, military service, death certificates, and sometimes newspaper articles, seemed to be the most popular. When accompanied with old photos and even family stories (concocted, believed, or true), these gifts are personal and lively.

Don’t forget: if you wish to have a family history prepared to coincide with a birthday, anniversary, or family reunion, the genealogist needs ample time to complete the research and to create a memorable keep-sake.

Hopefully, you too are gifting and giving for those special occasions! Happy New Year.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers