Keeping Family Stories Alive

About a month ago, I sent a letter to a distant cousin that I knew existed, but had never met. To be clear, she is my father’s cousin. I had been in contact with her brother for about a year and he had given me her information, figuring she would know more about our family. It took me a long time to make contact, but I finally did. I sent “D” a letter and hoped for a reply, whether a letter or phone call.

A few weeks after I sent the letter, I received a voicemail from “D” that I could try calling her or she would call again. It took us about a week to make contact, but once we did, she was able to shed light on a few of the family lines I had questions on.

Lets start with my O’Connell line, she was not able to shed any real light on the family. Though she was able to give me the name of the child of Dennis and Rose that passed away as a toddler, her name was Viola. I am excited to have this information and hope to find her final resting place.

“D” also shared some family stories with me that has helped me on our Springer line. Rose (Springer) O’Connell is my Great Grandmother and her family line has been a mystery to me. I knew she had a brother Arthur and a sister Sophie/Sophia. But, that was really all I knew. “D” shared with me that the Springer’s were actually Fontaine’s that moved to the states from Quebec. That when they arrived they had been to change their name.  She also said that Rose was one of 7 children. Her siblings were Prosper, Omar, Homer, Arthur, William and William. I have been doing some research and some of this information is correct. What I have found is that her siblings were actually Prosper, William, Joseph, Koreen, Sophia, and Arthur. I have been able to find some of the family in the US Census records, but have not found much information about the family in Quebec. I have put a few messages out on different genealogy message boards today and have already received two responses. One response is from a descendant of Arthur’s. How exciting to find a new family member. In the coming weeks, I hope share more of this line.

I decided to write a quick post about some recent updates on my family history because I read a tweet today by DearMyrtle,  she said “We must tell the family stories, or they may have been lost.” How right she is. If it was not for the conversation with cousin “D,” these family lines could have been lost. I look forward to spending time digging in the roots of this family.



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