There were many changes, additions and sadly, losses this past year.
I learned I was a descendent of a Puritans (which I know I need to still post more about).
I was contacted by various branches – some kept in contact and some didn’t but that is the way that these always happen. People are excited at first to find out information or people that are related but then after the first contact and minor exchanges, you don’t hear from them again.
Then there are the breakthroughs – you find out about people, you find where people are buried, what they did for a living, the best is finding living family members.
In the past month, I have been talking well facebooking with a 2nd cousin, who was posting on another cousins’ facebook page, and me being nosy (I know shocking isn’t it). I sent her a friend request and asked if we were somehow related because we shared the same last name. It turns out that she is the Granddaughter of my Grandfather (Gordon Elliott Rutledge) brother — a person I have little to know information about.
And she only lives about 30 minutes away from me!!! How cool is that. All these years, and she has been this close. And then on Christmas Eve, I mention her to my Dad and he says “Yeah, I think that years ago at one of Bob’s (my Uncle/Dad’s brother) birthday parties I met her. Never thought to tell you about her.”
But hopefully once, Christmas and moving is over, I will be able to meet her face to face.
And there are other cousins that I have met on facebook that I hope to be able to meet up with either for the first time (Denise Carol) or visit (Leanne) or cousins that live in the Lower Mainland / BC area that I can meet up with again (Carol, Marlene, Ted & Darlene). And there is my family far away – Australia, Sweden and Finland – maybe one day we will all meet face to face – it is a dream on my bucket list of life to meet you all.
And my family, I have been very bad this year at keeping in touch and I need to do more of that as the family grows.
But I also want to try and break through on the many things I haven’t been able to find — the most important is the Marriage Date of my Grandparents – I can find everything BUT that. It still is a mystery to me.
So as this year comes to a close and I think back on the year – our tree is still strong and growing stronger with each passing year. Hopefully the branches will continue to grow bigger, the roots will stay strong.
And though it is always nice to see the stats as I grow the tree, it is the people, the places and the stories that I love the most, like the story my Dad told me on Christmas Eve about his Uncle Percy and the bagpipes and raspberry bushes. It is things like that I want to concentrate more on in 2014.
What makes this family of my interesting – whether on the English side or the Swedish-Finnish side are the stories of lives lived. I hope to start collecting more of them as time goes by.
So, to my family close or far away, I hope that 2014 brings you all everything you ever wanted and more. And hopefully more meetings, reunions or just chats with each other.
My love always