My friend, Betty, and I have been researching her family history for about six and a half years. She has worked very hard to meet members of her extended family on both sides in an effort to learn as much as possible. Her goal is to publish a multi-volume family history. We are very close to having the first volume completed. We'll both be glad beyond words when that day comes!
On Friday, Betty and I ventured to Kirksville, Missouri, to meet yet another relation. We had a nice visit with Betty's mom, and a filling lunch at The Uptown Cafe on the square. I would recommend it for its friendly environment, fast service and tasty, down-home food!
Afterward, we visited with Betty's cousin, Linda. They are actually fourth cousins, with Lindsey Carson Montgomery being their common ancestor. These ladies were thrilled to spend three hours sharing data, stories and pictures. It was a lovely afternoon.
This is just about the first thing to do when you want to learn more about your family. After finding what you have in your own possession, talk to your relations. I have learned from experience that, no matter how many questions you ask, there will always be more. Learn what you can now!
Another thing I've learned from these traipsings about with Betty is that most people are just as interested in their families and meeting more relations as Betty is. Without exception, the people we've visited together have been happy to meet us (I'm not even related!), and were more than willing to talk about their own lives, at the very least.
Try it. What can happen? Someone might not want to talk to you? Oh, well! Find another - they're out there - in the woodwork. :)