I like to think that my New England ancestors were as hospitable as the folks I've met the last few days here at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference. . . That would mean they were pretty nice folks, indeed.
I FINALLY met up with my Rhode Island connection, and cousin, Midge Frazel with wonder-husband Steve to swap stories over a cup of iconic Dunkin Donuts coffee. Midge is the go-to blogger for my Mathewson / Winsor line and I will tell you, she is even more energetic and Smart in person than online.
Between sessions with Sharon Sargeant and Josh Taylor I met up with friends from NEHGS, talked with Maureen Taylor The Photo Detective, picked up some valuable tips from Rhode Islander Cherry Bamberg, and had my palm read.. No, not really... But it was just that kind of surprising day.
At tonite's banquet, I was treated to a glass of we by seat mate Bob from Albany, New York and enjoyed a lively and friendly exchange with NERGC Chair Pauline Cusson and others at our table. Then we all sat back to hear Paul Milner, "What Were Our Ancestors Really Like?"
I'll be honest, I hadn't planned on attending the banquet and didn't have a ticket, but when I heard the buzz about Milner, I decided to check the message board for available seats. And, I'm so glad I was able to score a ticket. Banquet speakers are hopefully entertaining, often humorous, and sometimes inspiring... Paul Milner was all this . . . And more. When an after-dinner conference crowd becomes so quiet and still that you could hear the proverbial "pin drop," it's clear the speaker has captivated the audience.
Milner told tales of battlefield casualties, of servant employment, of family loss that left more than a few people dabbing their eyes at the end of his talk. But he concluded his remarks with a great challenge -- to write down our own family stories for the next generation. Just one story. One person, one place, one point in time. One thing to remember.
Inspirational. Thank you, Paul. Your stories will be remembered. I will be working on mine.