Monday, November 22, 2010

An early Thanksgiving present from Cousin Milton

I've spoken of Milton before, my 78 year old second cousin 3 times removed who has been an enormous help to me in my research of our shared Haase genealogy. Being an older Southern gentleman, he always makes me smile with how polite he is in his e-mails, calling me "Miss Mary," and I am always amazed at how proficient he is with using technology for genealogical purposes - uploading his tree to Ancestry.com, uploading old photos and documents to his computer, and sending and receiving e-mails.

Through e-mail and Ancestry we keep in touch, not frequently but regularly, and I heard from him most recently this past weekend. He had found an old photograph that was several generations older than himself, that he wanted to share with me. The people in it are unidentified, but he believes that one of them is my 4th great grandmother Barbara Reinhardt Haase and my third great grandfather Edward Haase from about the year 1880. This is the note that accompanied the photo:


"This is the family’s great mystery photo. Neither Neil (Scholl), John Scholl, nor Fred Haase can identify these people. The photo was in Stella’s (I assume Estelle Haase Scholl, their mother) collection that was given the Sandy, so they are significant family members.

My guess, the woman in white is Kate (Reinhardt) Jacobs, sister to the lady in black, my Great Grandmother Barbara (Reinhart) Haase. The baby (about 1 year) is my grandfather, Fredrick, born 1878, and the older boy is his brother Edward, born 1866. That seems logical based on the size of the older boy, who appears to be about 10 – 12 years old. If so, this picture was taken about 1880."

And this just serves to reinterate the importance of sharing with each other and even just talking to others searching our same searches. Talking with Cousin Milton is like talking to my grandmother - he's two generations closer to our ancestors than I am, so he remembers names and faces and places that I don't. He's met some of these people that I've only ever read about. And being from a different Haase branch than I come from, he has photos and documents and letters and stories that got passed down his way and not down mine, but they're photos and documents and letters and stories that are meaningfully to both of us, on both a personal and a genealogical level. You never know who has that missing link! And Cousin Milton, I know I already wrote you back, but thank you so much for sharing so much with me, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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