Saturday, November 26, 2011

Acknowledgments of Gratitude

My big Thanksgiving weekend activity has been to write the “Acknowledgments” page on my website, Greta’s Genealogy.

The reasoning and inspiration behind this page are explained at the top of the page (which I am including below).

Most if not all of us are aware of the importance of source citations, but how many of us also pay tribute to the people and things - documents, photographs, and other items passed on to us by these people - that initially led us to the sources?

In my genealogy program, on the “Notes” page for the family that starts off (genealogically, not chronologically) each new family line, I try to outline the people and previous research that laid the foundations for my own research. But right now I am the only person who sees these pages.

Family history books may contain an “Acknowledgments” section, but what if I never publish a book?

So I decided to do the next best thing - to publish such a page on my website. There are a lot of names on that page, and I know there should be a lot more. As I go through my e-mail and the “Correspondence” sections of my research binders and folders, more names will be added to this list. Here is what I have written so far:


When I started family research back in September 2005, I knew next to nothing - almost nothing about my ancestors beyond my grandparents, nothing about how to do genealogical research, and nothing about the vast amount of historical and genealogical resources that are available, both online as well as in repositories and a host of other places.

Very soon after I got started, however, I came into contact with people who were incredibly generous - with their information, expertise, photographs, and family stories and memories.  Not all of these people will show up in my source citations or photo attributions, so I would like to express my gratitude to them on this page.  There are so many of them that I may not remember them all right away, so like the rest of this website, this page will be a work in progress.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the following people:

Eunice Sandling - the cousin who actually sparked off my passion for family history with her History of the Floyd Family.

Paul Moore - the cousin who set the example when he passed Eunice's research and his Moore family tree to me.

The Dodd family - Jim, Pat, and Paula - for their great Floyd family research and preservation of Floyd family heritage, and for sharing it all with their Floyd cousins.

Carolyn Chamberlain Loffler - the cousin who passed so many family stories to me (who had heedlessly failed to pay attention to these stories when I was growing up) and has provided so much encouragement to me.

Jo Ann Sizer - my third cousin in the Moore family line, the first Moore family researcher I found outside of the cousins I grew up with, who had done so much research on the William Spencer Moore family, shared it all with me, and set the example for me in how to do family research.

Kim Wilson - a researcher who was working on families in the Anderson County, South Carolina area - not related to my Moores - who generously shared her information and expertise with me.

Howard and Judith Koehl - for sharing family memories with me and going to extraordinary lengths to share family photographs with me.

John Hornady - for what may be the most generous sharing of family materials of all - not just scans and copies, but original materials inherited from a Lewis family hero who had no direct descendants, so John passed them to me.  For giving me a piece of history:  I cannot thank you enough.

My Brinlee cousins - Raymond Parker, George Brinlee, Edna Rae Spencer, and Gale Wallen - for being first-rate researchers and for so many great pictures, including the only pictures of my Grandfather Lawrence Brinlee that I have ever seen.

A. Gayle Hudgens - besides setting a great example as a researcher and knowing a ton of interesting stuff about the Lewises, Gayle is one of the most enjoyable people to correspond with and talk to I have ever known.  She makes the pursuit of finding one's family, both in the past and the present, a real pleasure.

Marianne Dillow - for sharing her wonderful Lewis family research with me.

Chuck Golden and Gary Brown - For sending me pictures, including the pictures which gave me my first glimpse of my great-great grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, and for sending me Inez Cline's History of the Norman Family.

Rebecca Cardwell Sibley - and her husband Danny and her mother Leota - for sharing a treasure trove of Norman research, for arranging to meet my husband and me on our way home from Charleston, South Carolina, and for being people that I'm honored to be related to.

To some wonderful Genea-Bloggers - Carol at Reflections from the Fence, Becky Jamison of Grace and Glory, and Cynthia Shenette of Heritage Zen - for being real Genea-Angels and doing some gigantic genea-favors for me - and at their own initiative.  This is what makes the genealogy blogging community great!

Mary Lou Benjamin - for being a fabulous Fichtelmann researcher and sharing her research, and for being the one who figured out who Christine Fichtelmann's father was, and sharing that.

Mary Newton - for having written that all-important message board post that connected the William Spencer Moore and Bud Mathis Moore families, for sending me the Bud Mathis Moore family materials, and for putting me in touch with other Bud Mathis Moore descendants.

George Moore - for sharing some critically important Moore family history that led to some new discoveries.

Randy and Rich Floyd - for making that all-important connection from their New York Floyd branch, descendants of Ransom Floyd, to our Texas Floyd branch, descendants of George Floyd and for reaching out and sharing precious letters written by my great-grandfather Charles Augustus Floyd to their ancestor and by my grandmother's sister Lannie Angelina, who died in childbirth.

Paula Moore - for connecting her Freeman Manson Moore line with our William Spencer Moore and Bud Mathis Moore lines, for reaching out, and, with her sister Carolyn, making my first research trip one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life, let alone one which resulted in a huge find of Moore, Lewis, and even Tarrant materials.

Richard Van Dyke - for sharing wonderful memories of Bun and Square Brinlee.

Maria Fazio - for sharing Terrana-Davi family lore and documents with me.


  1. What a great idea. I had thought of doing something similar but didn't know how to handle it. Thank you for posting this.

  2. I totally love this idea, and may "borrow" it at some point in the future.

    And, thanks for the shoutout, it was my pleasure. Being in the right place at the right time with the perfect resources surely helped and made it easy peasy to help you.

  3. Since it's the Thanksgiving weekend, I'm still in a thankful mood, and this filled the bill! What a thoughtful gesture, and graceful way to go about showing appreciation for those many others who help along the way. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Greta, I love our website and have decided to give Weebly Website a try also. I have a McManigle Family Website but I really like the setup you have on Weebly, especially they way you have your website and blogs all connected. Very nice.

    At one time, I had a "We Are Cousins" page on the McManigle Website, but was always unhappy the way I had it set up. Your Acknowledgement page is Wonderful and I would like to borrow it. Sure looks much easier to keep updated than mine was! ~laughs~

    Thank you for the great ideas from your Website

  5. Thank you, Greta! I'm so honored to know you, to learn from you and to be able to collaborate with you on occasion. This is a wonderful idea...thanks for sharing it! Keep up the great work!

  6. Greta - I second Carol. This is a wonderful idea, and I may do something similar in an end of the year round up myself. Thank you for the shout out. I enjoy helping people when I can, and it was a truly a pleasure.

  7. TLG - The more gratitude spread around, the better!

    Carol - Fellow genies are the greatest!

    Jacqi - You're very welcome!

    McManigle Family - Hope you have a great experience with Weebly. It was perfect for me because I know so little about web design.

    Becky - We just have to meet someday - perhaps we'll meet up at a convention - I would love to thank you in person!

    Cynthia - Not only were you helpful, but my daughter was so impressed that you would do this for "a friend of a friend"; I explained to her that's how people help one another in genealogy, and I think that may have helped to get her at least a bit more interested in the idea of doing genealogy herself one day.