It can't be denied that Internet genealogy and all it's social networking has brought together many a cousin. My story is not much different then many who have had the same experience in their own family history journey. Through forums at Ancestry I have connected with distance family members who have put me in contact with others. I have met by great grandfather's brother's son via the Internet. I have met a couple of cousins who although very distant have been a wealth of information. They came to me via a first cousin. She connected with them on Ancestry's forum as well. We soon established that my great-great grandfather and their great-great-grandmother were brother and sister, James and Susan Stapleton. I believe this makes us third cousins once removed.
James and Susan were raised in the Chepstow, Ontario by their mother Helen(Ellen) Phalen. Their father also named James died when they were infants. We knew next to nothing about the Phalen and Stapleton family but with the help of Margaret and Peter Mullin we are now well versed on this part of our family. We have been able to move forward in our research and uncover documents to support their stories. Margaret as a young teenager sat down with her parents and began asking family history questions. Again supporting my theory of the importance of interviewing the living. A calendar was in front of her and she began scribbling notes as her parents shared their stories. It was those stories that she documented that provided a wealth of information for us today.
This summer, myself and my cousin Danette recently had an opportunity to meet with Peter and Margaret and have a small Stapleton Reunion. It was quite enjoyable to connect and share stories and I look forward to building on all the wonderful information they have so graciously provided.
The Internet is undeniable a wonderful space to share and make connections. It has made our world a whole lot smaller and is bring families closer.