April is Genealogy Month and I am presenting genealogy workshops in the Elbert County Library District. I decided I'd better brush up on some of the newer genealogy websites and blogs and refresh my memory about some of the other websites. This brought me to the Rootsweb Message Boards - where I've been rewarded in the past with special treasures and contacts. I found a message written in 2001 requesting information about Neil Theodore Christison. It surprised me that I hadn't seen the message before, since Neil Theodore "Ted" was my grandfather's brother. A reply from someone else in 2008 had no response from the requester, so I looked at the profile and found Mike Christison's name. When I Googled his name I found Mike's obituary - he had died in 2008.
Reading through Mike's obituary, I stopped in shock when I saw the name of his sister - Gayle Christison. I couldn't believe there was another Gayle Christison, spelled the same as my name, and we are 2nd cousins. Unbelievable.
So, I looked up her phone number and called. I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have called any of the other family members. But I couldn't pass up talking to Gayle Christison. The phone rang and rang. I left a message explaining who I was and hung up wondering if she would have any interest in calling back. Well, she called back while I was at the library and she talked to John. Gayle and I finally talked yesterday after a couple of days of playing phone tag.
Gayle was as excited as I was to talk! I learned that her father, my Dad's 1st cousin, is still alive. Gayle's dad remembers seeing his father (Ted) only twice - once when he was 5 and again at 7. So he really didn't have any information about his family. I really don't have much information about Ted, either, but I could tell her lots about the Christison family in Colorado!
Gayle and her dad live in South Carolina. My family is planning a trip in May to visit my parents in North Carolina. We are hoping to arrange a visit. And we are planning many more phone conversations!
There must be something about these genealogy workshops. In 2007 I discovered that a co-worker in the library district was my third cousin, once removed. You can read about that experience in this post - You Never Know...