Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cousins to the Rescue Again!

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am currently working on the family and descendants of my great-great grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and had planned to compile a list of Norman researchers I had found online and send out an e-mail to them to inquire about sharing information. It seems as though I have been writing down names and e-mail addresses with the intention of doing this forever, but only last weekend did I finally get around to it.

Needless to say, I should have done this sooner. Many of the addresses were outdated and starting earlier might have yielded one or two more active addresses. Still, the results were encouraging and even “happy dance” inducing. In addition to the many “Delivery Failure” messages I got back, I received four positive replies the very same day. All were positive about sharing information and one of them (thank you, Pat!) was so kind and generous as to send me scans of a photograph of J.M.C. Norman and the family history of the Normans written by Inez E. Cline. This is the first time I have seen a picture of J.M.C. Norman and the Norman family history is a real gem. It is obvious that much meticulous research and legwork and many family interviews went into this history. Compiling and chronicling the history of a family traced back to a man who had approximately 27 children by three wives is no small task, and like some of the fine research done by some of my other cousins on other family lines, the Norman family history will be very helpful.

If I have learned a lesson from this experience, it is to start the contact list as soon as I run across the names and addresses in my research and to have an introductory letter already written up that I can just copy and paste into an e-mail. I have some of these lists in the front of the my family name binders, but have not been careful to keep them all up to date.

More on the new information on the Normans in the next Family Newsletter Friday.


  1. I highly recommend keeping this contact list. I also like to keep track of who descends from whom so I know who I'm talking to.

  2. Congratulations on your Norman find. I have had the same experience as you with outdated e-mails and also snail mail addresses. Every now and then, I get a lucky strike with an old address. I guess the best method is to just get those letters out ASAP...but there aren't always enough hours in the day ;-)

  3. Ginger - Good idea - I have done this with a few contacts but not done it systematically. If I could just be consistent! Linda - Yup, same problem here. That's why I'm hoping to use the "prewritten letter" approach - just slap it into an e-mail and hit "send."