Saturday, November 19, 2011

A facebook family history story

God bless facebook!
Why this exclamation, you might ask;
Well, I have many reasons, and some of them include:
1) Living on the other side of the ocean from my homeland, I have been able to keep in touch with my family and friend.
2) I have found long lost friends from school
3) Through the creation of last name facebook groups and hometown related facebook groups, I have been able to connect to many distant cousins that I would have never found otherwise
4) It allows me to share pictures with my family and friends in a user friendly way.
5) It has been the means through which I got back in touch with a few of my cousins in Italy.
This last point is what is making me jump for joy right now because I have finally been able to have all the pictures and birth dates of the descendants of my maternal grandparents.
Here is the story.
I left Italy for the USA in 2003, and already hadn't seen this cousin of mine for a while as she had left for the North of Italy a few years before, and when she would come to visit her family in my town, she would stay too little for us to get together, so once I left for America, we totally lost track of each other.
Even if I came back to visit a few times, it was never when she was there.
After years and months of patient waiting for her or her siblings to join facebook, it finally happened last year, it was actually her nephew first, and then his father.It took one more year for me to come to the point where I was finally able to get in touch with the one cousin I had been wanting to talk to for more than 10 years!

The first time I asked her nephew for her email address, even if she had one, it was not a working one, so she never responded to the emails I sent her because she never got them!
I also created a facebook group for the descendants of our common grandparents, but that wasn't moving the waters fast enough.
Finally last week I decided to ask again as I was finishing the 2012 calendar for my mom, and the only pictures missing were the ones of this cousin and her sister's family. Luckily her sister had joined facebook the week before, so it was a matter of asking for her FB friendship, and she already had her family pictures posted on facebook.
This one cousin, the one that I really wanted to find, the one that we had so many things in common, and who was born only 11 days before me, as it turns out, she really doesn't like facebook, but fate (or should I say Somebody up there) wanted that her husband had been working in Brazil since September, so they were using Skype to communicate.
Can you imagine me as soon as my cousin's nephew gave me her Skype username?
I was on Skype in 2 seconds!
I sent her a message, the next day she answered, and finally a day later, we were having an hour plus long video chat talking like these 10 years never went by!
But the pictures, no, she didn't have them on her computer, so she got me in touch with her husband and finally,  TONIGHT, he sent me his family pictures!!!

Yeah!!! It's complete!!! I can publish the calendar for my mom (and mine too)

 (Sorry, cannot show the pages inside the calendar to respect her privacy)
 and then, after I get a little of my cousin's family stories, I can complete the descendants book I have been working on too!

Now you can understand why I love facebook so much(starting today Skype too;)).
While sometimes it can get people frustrated, I really believe that facebook has done so much for genealogy and the more people  realize how to use it in its full potential, especially using groups for people with the same last name, or that come from the same town, the more long lost cousins will be connected.

Do you have a facebook family history story?

1 comment:

Anglers Rest said...

Absolutely, Facebook & Skype can bridge the miles.



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