You know that Bible verse Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given to you, knock and you shall find?” I believe it was really written for genealogists. I would add to it – “though not immediately.”
In August, 2017, I sent an email query to a DNA cousin on Ancestry. I recognized the surname, Chellburg, and knew immediately the relationship. I was hoping to find a picture of my husband’s great grandmother, Louvisa “Louise” Carlson Johnson. Louise had lived in the house my husband grew up in and when my husband’s parents were relocating, I claimed all the photos and letters that had been stored in a suitcase in the basement. Of course they weren’t labeled. We were able to identify just about everyone, however, and no photo was ever found to be of Louise. Maybe she was camera shy or perhaps, when she moved in with another daughter the last year of her life, the pictures went with her. I was really hoping the last scenario was the case.
Over the years, I’ve checked with all the closer relatives for a photo and no one had one so when the DNA match came up I immediately sent off a message. Hey, I followed the Biblical directions – I asked and the email served as an electronic knock and then, well, I guess no one was home because I didn’t get a response.
Two years, two and a half months later I get an email back with the answer (paraphrased) – Sorry, I haven’t been on in a while. I don’t have a picture of Louise but I have one of her husband, Gust Johnson. I think another cousin, who’s 92, has the photos. He’s got a lot but none our labeled.
Big surprise there – another box of unlabeled photos. My husband had actually reached out to the older relative a few years ago but he didn’t respond. Now I’m hoping that the DNA match can connect with him to find a photo.
I am many things but patient is not in my makeup so the waiting really is the hardest part of genealogy for me.