WANDERINGS FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
by Gayle Stuart
There is no such thing as a useless piece of information.
I am sure that students, in a class in their early years of schooling, wonder if what they are learning will ever be of any use. When coming out of Kindergarten, our son, who shares a dislike of math with me, wondered, “When will I ever use math?” Sometimes we all wonder about diagramming sentences and about science in all its forms. It is always exciting when a light comes on, and we finally understand what is going on. I can see this in our children, grandchildren and with ourselves.
How many times, when we are searching, do we wonder if something is important? Our files probably have many pages labeled “Does it mean anything?”
Sometimes we collect people with the same last name and in the same area that we are researching. Do they ever connect? Sometimes they do.
Right now, I have a family tree that was found in a family home that we are cleaning out and, at this point, we have no way of knowing how it may be our family. Why was it in a dresser drawer, if it is not connected? This is something to save and one day, it may make sense.
We all have pictures without names. Have you ever looked at the clothing that the people are wearing? Do you have a labeled picture, where the people are wearing the same or similar clothing? Maybe it was taken with the same background. Could this be a clue?
I’m sure we have all laughed about what we find in small town newspapers. You find who went to coffee or dinner with whom, someone went to the neighboring town on business, and a person spent time visiting for 2 weeks – relative or friend? I have found where a load of cattle or hogs has been shipped with the weights, which are very interesting in today’s world. Have you found where someone went to school quite a distance from his or her hometown and wondered why?
I have been told that, in the early 1900’s, some yearbooks may have put the birthdays next to the senior pictures. When we clean out cupboards and drawers, we find wedding invitations, anniversary write ups, birthday cards, Christmas greetings, old letters and the list goes on. Names in these may give us the lead that we had not thought about. Other sources of names are membership rolls of clubs and voting registrations.
Are we making good use of what may be in our parents’ or other relatives’ homes?