One of the cousins shared a letter she had sent to his grandmother which confirmed much of the information I had discovered and offered some new facts and clues. I found the woman's obituary which referenced a brother and sister, which further research indicated they were step-siblings. This woman had one son, close to my age, and I wondered what ever became of all of her research and documents.
I wrote to one of the cousins inquiring if his line of the family had ever been in touch with her or her son. He sent me a copy of a letter she had written to his father in 1987. The first paragraph of the letter stated:
"About 19 years ago (1969), I destroyed much of the genealogical data I had and memories are not reliable."
She went on to describe the land records, wills, church records, marriage records, birth records, death records, et al that she once had. Some family history information was gleaned from her letter to confirm my research. She had spent more than twenty years researching our family history.
But - "... I destroyed much of the genealogical data I had . . ."
I can't even begin to imagine what would trigger someone to destroy all of that research. I won't even try.
For Open Discussion Weekend, please comment below:
- Have you experienced this within your family?
- What do you think could cause someone to destroy their research?
- Would YOU ever destroy your research?