A cup of coffee is the most powerful tool in your genealogy toolbox.
No, that coffee is NOT to help you stay awake while you read 1820 tax records line by line. Nor is it for those late night research sessions when you were really “just doing a quick look-up”.
Let me explain.
When I began researching my family’s genealogy, much of what I learned at first came with great conversation with older members of my family and a cup of coffee. Now, a number of years later I find having a conversation with a newly found cousins a delightful way to spend time and further genealogical pursuits.
Let me give you a few examples:
Over a cup of coffee:
- I learned my grandmother sheared the door handle off the side of her car while on the way to take her driver’s license test. (Can you tell I’m in the midst of teaching a teen to drive?)
- I learned the story behind a 1946 photograph of Haley cousins.
- I learned my great aunt was(is) a great athlete.
- I learned who taught my grandfather to fish.
- I learned where the bodies are buried! (Oops! I meant to say “where the ancestors are buried”.)
- I learned why my grandmother so disliked to wear green.
- I learned how not to get locked in an outhouse.
I dare you to find facts like these in the “official” genealogy records.
So…..UNPLUG your genealogy. Step away from the computer.
Grab a cup of coffee or two.
Go have a conversation with a family member.
When you visit Are You My Cousin? again, leave me a comment and let me know what fun facts you discovered over a cup of coffee.