The Most Powerful Tool in Your Genealogy Toolbox

Vintage Coffee Drinker

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.

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2 comments to The Most Powerful Tool in Your Genealogy Toolbox

  • Great post! I need to start writing down the stories I remember before it’s too late! For example, I may be the only person who remembers hearing Great Uncle Selwyn tell everyone that he learned to drive by getting in the car and doing what he had seen everyone else do? And Uncle Selwyn taught my dad to drive…which explains a lot! :)

    • LisaL

      Oh yes, Cherie, write those stories down! I am amazed at some of those crazy driving stories I hear. Lots of my family learned to drive on a relative’s farm and they tell all kinds of crazy things they ran into!

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