Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Return To Letter Writing


I used to write letters all the time, at least a letter a day, but over the years I have gotten away from that practice. However, I have been writing a lot of letters lately for both good and not so pleasant reasons. As you have read, there are a number of correspondences that I have sent to management but there have also been a few that I have written for other reasons. It seems as though email and phone calls have become more of an annoyance for some so reverting back to a more traditional form of communication may provide more substantial results.

While I send a fair amount of snail mail as Secretary of my masonic lodge, which there seems to be a lot of this summer, the other pieces of mail have a much different purpose. I have taken a considerable amount of time off from doing the in depth genealogical research and now, as I previously mentioned, we are at a point when on line resources are not going to provide the additional information that we are looking for. There are a few things that come up here and there as archives are digitized but that still leaves us wanting more.

So, the first letter I wrote was to the Monacan Nation as it is now time to pursue membership in the tribe. Basically, there is a question as to how far back we need to provide documentation. Do we need to prove connection to those on the original rolls or do we need documentation of those individuals? It may seem like a small question but it has tremendous ramifications… one generation makes all the difference as the documents needed for that final step have gone missing from the archive in which they are stored. We will have to wait and see if this is going to be easy (as we have all the documents needed) or hard (and we need to find out where that one document is being stored).

Another piece of mail dropped off at the post office was to a woman living in Spring City, Pennsylvania. She is a descendant of my great grandfather and his second wife. While my grandmother wanted nothing to do with her father or her half-sister, it is time for the family to know more about that forgotten branch. I outlined the research and explained why I am reaching out in the letter but there is still no guarantee as to whether or not I will get a response. Frankly, I am not 100% certain that I am writing to the right person but all of the supporting information seems to make sense. After all, if I am correct, she is still living in the same house that my great grandfather lived in.

Next up will be pulling together all the information needed for the Sons of the American Revolution application. While I have all the documents needed, and then some, this is still going to be a project and a half. The work has already been done it is simply a matter of sending it in such a way as to speed up the approval process. It will be nice to finally have this off my plate after a year languishing on my to-do list.

So that is the plan at the moment. This, combined with whatever my aunt and uncle can find out during their upcoming trip to Virginia, will hopefully fill in a few gaps in the tree. Until then, I think I will find a few more people I can write, email, and call. And, of course, get a lot of editing done on the tree as it is looking a little ragged and is in dire need of pruning.