Friday, March 11, 2011

Cajun Hospitality

I've spent the best two days at my cousin Peggy's house.  Peggy and George (her husband) rolled out the red carpet for me.  Yesterday, Peggy and I spent all day talking genealogy, telling family stories and sharing lots of laughs.  The day was topped off with a "Cajun Party" full of good friends, boiled shrimp, Cajun music and more shrimp.  This morning Peggy made me Beignets and tonight she cooked a fabulous Shrimp Etouffe.

Today I learned how to work my embroidery machine...turns out that Peggy and I have the same machine.  But embroidery is what she does for a living.  George is half convinced we are not cousins but long lost sisters separated at birth.

Peggy has giving me the most wonderful gift, a picture of my great grandmother, Felicie Romero, and her brothers and sisters.  I can not begin to express what that means to me. Being adopted I have almost no photos of my birth family.  My sisters gave me a couple of my birth mother, Audrey, when I met them.  Being a genealogist I always have longed for the fabulous old photos that other families seem to have.  The first instruction to a new genealogist is, "go on a treasure hunt in your own attic."  Or, "ask your parents or grandparents for old letters, photographs, the family bible," etc.  I did not have that option.  My mother had passed before I met my family...in fact if she had been alive I would never have met my family.  So I could not ask her for any photos or papers or anything.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one....

In October Peggy contacted me to do George's (her husband's) genealogy for a Christmas gift.  She gave me a budget and told me to go as far as the money would take me.  I guesstimated that I would get about four generations back.

I did like any good 21st century family history detective would do...I went to Ancestry.com.  I figured I would do a little sleuthing around there to start with and then move on to trying to find wedding certificates or birth certificates...things George could frame...things that pertained to the life his ancestors had lived.  I didn't for one minute think I would find anything other than the usual census records and maybe someone else's tree.

Imagine my surprise and amazement when I found photos of his grandmother, his great grandmother and his great great grandmother.  I also found letters his great grandmother had written.  All courtesy of a distant cousin of George's. The internet is a wonderful thing.

I was so jealous.  Here I had longed for a photograph of someone in my family most of my life. I'm on the computer for about 20 minutes and have great photos for George. NO FAIR.

So today when Peggy gave me that photo I about cried.

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