Saturday, December 4, 2010

Genealogy Blog Power - Update on Marjorie Pauline Frost Story

Talk about the power of having a genealogy blog. Here, once again, is proof. This time at my very own site, Destination: Austin Family. Readers might remember my series on Marjorie Pauline Frost from October, 2009 which, to make a long research story short, involved a baby book from 1928 left in an Oneonta, New York bookstore with other items for sale.  During the course of a day (yes, a day) using Twitter and other social media applications, the genealogy community was able to reunite the baby book with a descendant of its subject, Marjorie Pauline Frost.

Old news, right?  Well old news gets picked up by search engines like Google when it is fresh news. And such news has a way of hanging around only to be found by others in the future.  That's exactly what happened.  Not only did someone make a connection with their own genealogy research, but I was able to provide valuable clues to a burial location and more.

Last week, I received the following email from a Nancy Frost in Michigan (duplicated with her permission):
"Dear Thomas,
Yesterday, on my lunch hour here at work, I decided I would Google an ancestor and see what I could come up with. I chose my great-grandfather, Otis D. Frost. I came upon many old newspaper articles and even his obituary which was wonderful since I didn't know when he died. My main reason for doing this was the hope that I just might find out my great-grandmother, Neva's, maiden name. I tried Googling her but came up empty handed. After going through many pieces of information, I stumbled upon your site. My search for Otis Frost in Springfield, NY brought up your reports from a year ago recounting your search for the owner (or family of) a little girl's baby book. You were looking for information on Marjorie Pauline Frost. Turns out, she was my grandfather's (Kenneth David Frost) sister-in-law. Her father, my grand uncle Devere, was the man who was murdered in the bar room brawl about which you wrote. I never knew that. The "Aunt Mabel" you wrote about as being the nurse who delivered Pauline was my dear grandmother. You included her obituary which I had never seen. In that obit., it gave me the location of where she is buried. I've been searching for that information for years. The only thing I knew about where Nana Mabel and Grampy Ken were buried was that it WASN'T in the Cherry Valley cemetery.
I won't go on and on, but I did want to thank you so much for publishing this work. You helped me fill in some missing information that is so important to me. All because you wanted to reunite a child's baby book with someone who would care about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Well, if that doesn't just feel good to get an email like that, I don't know what does.  Not only does it speak to the serendipity in genealogy and family research but also says that Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness do have a reward. Plus it is good karma to help others out - you never know who will write a blog post on one of your ancestors for you to find on Google down the road.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Cynthia Shenette said...

Thomas - This is so cool. I love hearing stories like yours. It's great when you can do genealogy AND make someone happy at the same time. A win/win situation all around. Thanks for sharing your story.

Greta Koehl said...

Reading so many Advent calendar posts has been putting me in the Christmas mood, and now, after reading this, I'm in a great mood - this is such good news.

Judy Webster said...

A great result! Yet another example of how much you have helped people. Keep up the good work! Like you, I find that the 'thank you' feedback gives me a real buzz. I have a collection of delightful letters and emails from people who found their folk among the 51,000 names on my Web site.

Susan Petersen said...

This is a wonderful story, Thomas. I'm getting closer to making contact with a long lost first cousin, and hopefully, reuniting a baby book. The family connections are getting closer, so hopefully, I'll have some news to report soon myself. Thanks for sharing this - it was very appropriate to read this Today.

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

What a lovely story!

Kathryn Doyle said...

Great stuff! Love your title "Genealogy Blog Power." I might borrow this idea and feature some success stories on the CGSL blog. Thanks for the nudge.