Thursday, January 13, 2011

Paying it Forward


Generalized Reciprocity

My favorite charity, the Heifer Project, calls it “Passing on the Gift”

For three weeks I was home sick, and didn’t do any new research or new blog posts. I posted some other things I had saved for a rainy day, and some photos of tombstones, etc. I lazed around in my PJs, read the comments, blew my nose constantly, chatted on Facebook and thought I was doing nothing…

However, even just answering comments and chatting on Facebook was not really a mindless activity. Things were brewing. Ideas were exchanging. Stories developed into blog posts without any effort. Best of all, lots of folks became very happy. Sometime the best stories just happen…

First, a simple comment on a blog post led to lots of photos and stories being sent my way by a “new cousin” in Wisconsin. If you read the post on The Uicker House on January 12th you can see that just a few emails back and forth easily became a photo essay. Several members of the Uicker family contributed to this story. And I had never even met them! There are more photos and more stories coming, all related to this first comment on my blog.

Then, Midge Frazel, at the “Granite in Blood” blog, wrote and asked me a few questions about Mayflower lineage applications. It was easy, just a few messages via Facebook, and she was so happy to get the scoop on the sources and help available from the Mayflower Society. I was so happy to help. All whilst sitting here with my slippers and box of tissues.

Still stuck at home, I took advantage of a discussion tab at the Genealogy Blogger group on Facebook, and asked if anyone knew how to print out a newspaper article found on Google News archives. There were a few suggestions and then out of the blue Carol Yates Wilkerson of the blog “iPentimento” offered to capture the image and put it into an email-able file for me. Now I have a copy of a very interesting article from 1910 about an Italian immigrant in Boston’s North End neighborhood and his hurdy gurdy business. This immigrant is the 2x great grandfather of my daughter’s new beau. Thanks, Carol, for introducing me to the software called SnagIt! This might make it into a blog story, too.

Another reader just emailed that we share Mayhew, Doggett, Thompson, Tetherly, Abbott, Hinckley, Emery, Webster, Shatswell, Northend lineages, and a few more. I can see some emailing back and forth in the near future with this “new cousin”.

Best of all, four of us Genealogy Bloggers are meeting up for lunch next week. Two of these women I have never met in person before. I’m looking forward to this lunch most of all. Not because I’m finally getting out of the house, but because I feel that it’s about time my online friendships become real life friendships. After all, we’ve been chatting for a year or more now. Carol and Midge, you’re going to be next someday!

Give a little, Get a little…

And I thought I was just sitting home, blowing my nose!

Ralph Waldo Emerson, my favorite Emerson cousin, wrote, "In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody."

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Don't forget to add me to the lunch list sometime! Glad your down time was so productive.

  2. Very nice post Heather. I'm not going to spill the beans as to who is meeting.

  3. It's amazing how much gets done when you're doing nothing. Thanks for the reminder, Heather!

    Here's hoping your lunch plans don't get snowed out!