While I’ve been spending time puzzling over the mystery of the Fort Wayne newspaper report asserting that John Kelly Stevens had a nephew in Lafayette named Raphael Kruse, another family puzzle seemed to be resolving itself, thanks to some online collaborative work. And yesterday, with several details coming together, a group of those Tully family collaborators got to meet, face to face, in the Chicago area.
The gathering yesterday extended to both second cousins and third cousins. And me. If we got this right. There is still that doubt over the connection, since there is not any solid documentation—only labeled photographs naming “cousins” and that connect-the-dots exercise of tying one relative to another—but we are most likely on the right track. If we are not entirely correct, our margin of error should only involve one generation. At least we are still talking about family.
The journey for this family requires working backwards through United States census records through 1880, then jumping the border to a small town in the County of Brant in Ontario, Canada. But we are all on it—all joining in to research this branch of the Tully family tree. So far, we are back to the 1850s, with some reliable leads back to the family’s origins in County Tipperary in Ireland.
The ability to meet third cousins—some of whom have lived in the same suburb of Chicago, never realizing anyone else living in that town would be a distant relative—was such a great experience. Although we’ve communicated by email and shared our findings via both Ancestry.com and notes through the last year, we had never met face to face—until yesterday.
Now, heading back home to California, I’m looking forward to jumping back into the data and seeing what else can be found. This calls for us to enter new territory—international research—but I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to stretch a bit and learn the ropes on a new chapter of genealogical research.
And there is nothing like getting to meet some new relatives—especially those who share that zeal for the search. Hopefully, now combining our efforts, we should see that search supercharged.