Email Genealogy

As I try to organize and digitize my genealogy files (and I use that statement very loosely), I came across four emails I had saved from 2009. I knew what they were about as soon as I saw the titles “Response from Mom”.


These emails have their beginning four years ago with my dad’s sister Aunt Marg. She was 92 years old then and had slowed down considerably. Although Aunt Marg was in an assisted living center she was sharp as a tack. When my sisters and I would make the two hour trip to visit her she asked about each of our family members by name from oldest down to youngest. We always marveled at her keen mind and hoped we carried that same gene.


In between our infrequent visits to Aunt Marg my sister Mary Ellen had the very good idea to email our cousin Joe, Aunt Marg’s son. She’d ask questions about our family history that Joe printed out and took to his mom. Aunt Marg answered the questions as best she could and gave the replies back to Joe who scanned them and emailed them to my sister. She in turn forwarded the answers to the rest of us.


Here’s one of those question and answer emails:


An answer from Aunt Marg

An answer from Aunt Marg



In rereading all the questions and answers I was surprised at new research leads that popped into my mind. Some rather obvious and simple like checking a City Directory for my great grandparents especially since this information was rather recent.


I’m also thrilled to have more bits of “fleshy” information to add to my family tree biographies.


As happy as I am to have these few emails I wish we had asked her more. She didn’t mind the questions in fact she seemed to welcome them. Sadly my aunt passed away eight months after the last email was answered. Many of my family’s stories are now lost to history.


So here’s a thought. If feasible try some “Email Genealogy”. If circumstances work out and you can contact a family member through email or receive their reminisces that way you’ll benefit from quicker answers and they’ll be digitized too.


A genealogy “two-fer” if I ever heard of one! Good luck in your research!



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One thought on “Email Genealogy

  1. Wish we could hear more stories about Johnny, besides learning about his youth I am sure we would learn more about Flora and maybe even Josephine.

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