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This Day in My History


Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards as progress


Yesterday's Entries

2000: The Ants Are, My Friends
2001:  @$#%&^ and other expletives
2002:  Is That Rain on your Cheeks?...


Breakfast:  Cheerios, toast

Lunch:  picked at leftovers

Dinner:  Turkey casserole (yet again)


Psychiatric reports (I'm transcribing)


Rainy, stormy, windy, wet, yucky

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Walt dripping wet after an hour on the roof in the rain cutting up a tree branch that broke off in the high winds.



29 December 2003

Elle announces, proudly, that Random Acts of Journaling is back. I had to smile when I read the quote prompts for this collab. Three of them struck home to me:

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. -- Ovid

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. -- George Bernard Shaw

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. -- Erica Jong

They all remind me of my cousin.

Many years ago, my aunt (the one who is now in the Alzheimers facility) entrusted to me the letters written by my great grandfather and great-great grandfather. Amazing that these family letters had been preserved all these years. Amazing look at life in farmland in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Barb gave me the letters, "knowing" that I would be the one person in the family would would care for them and would actually do something with them.

I started typing them, but life intervened and they sat here for quite some time. And then my cousin, Carolyn Tucker ("Peach" to the family) stepped up and said she would work on them.

My lord, was that a fateful day!!!

She started transcribing the letters and got so involved in the family that she went on line and began to learn about genealogy. She found other distantly related members of the family and created close friendships with them and got additional information from them. It became her obsession.

She taught herself genealogy software, visited the nearby Mormon geneaology library, and even came with us on a trip to Washington, D.C., in 1998, where she spent two days buried in the National Archives while Walt and I partied with some CompuServe friends.

It was such an obsession that she went on a quest for "Avoline," the daughter of our great-great-great-great grandfather. The journey took her into the heart of the midwest, to an old cemetery, where she actually found Avoline’s grave.

When you visit her home, one entire closet is devoted to genealogy, with binder after binder filled with information about our grandmother’s side of the family. She was able to trace the family all the way back to our Scottish roots, with our ancestor being a companion to Robert the Bruce (from whence comes the story of our family crest–the guy who murdered someone for Robert and then went back to stab the enemy again, saying "I make sure," which became the family motto on the crest, along with a bloody hand holding a dagger.)

Peach ultimately put her work into a book which she made available to any member of the Kirkpatrick family in either paper format or on disc. She has filled the book with history and photographs and it is a marvelous tribute to all of her years of work and the connections she made.

Appropriately, she titled the book, "The Connection."

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With her long years of work finally coming to completion she found herself at a loss for what to do. She could begin work on other branches of the family (and has done that), but through all of her work she realized how many people are out there struggling to get a handle on their own family roots.

What started as a project to transcribe family letters so we could all read them has worked itself into a full fledged business. She is going to be helping others with genealogical research and I’m currently helping her put together a web page, Carolyn’s Corners, which will eventually have all of her contact information on it, as well as samples of her work.

Peach has made our family skeletons dance, she’s hooked the big fish and she has had the courage to both discover her talents and to follow them where they lead her.

I’m very proud of her.



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Our grandmother, Lucy Grace Kirkpatrick


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Weight Lost to date:  48.6 lbs

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Created 12/28/03