Saturday, October 30, 2021

Connecting with Someone Else's Past


As often happens when we approach holiday seasons, is currently opening up their collection of death records to view for free through November second, as a nod to Halloween. While I don't personally care to acknowledge that day—not to mention, "free" is not an alluring offer to me, since I'm already a subscriber—I thought their ad campaign had a clever way to frame genealogy for the season: "Connect with your ancestors from beyond the grave."

Since advertising runs in our family—a brother whose bread and butter was acting in television commercials, and a brother-in-law with a lifelong career in the business—I can appreciate a clever turn of phrase in marketing. That, however, was not the reason my thoughts turned to this aspect of genealogy today. What I'm really pondering is what to do with a month of research when I've just discovered that my well-laid plans have fallen through. What's next for November?

Ever since I received that wonderful message from a local high school student who found Marilyn Sowle Bean's photo collection in a nearby antique store, I've spent weekends sharing scanned images from the rescued set. As I post the pictures, I've shared the details I remember from her family stories, augmented by some quick checking online when facts needed to be verified.

It occurred to me, as I've revisited Marilyn's family tree, that it's been quite a while since I last worked on those ancestral lines. Perhaps November would be the perfect time to catch up on some work in honor of a family whose every immediate member is no longer with us. If everyone deserves to be remembered somehow—even if only in a small way—the Sowle and Bean families and their related lines could use an opportunity to have their stories shared. We'll reserve some time during this upcoming month to revisit the stories I've heard from Marilyn and her extended family.


  1. Hello Jacqi,

    It’s me, Ayden, the local high school student! I hope you are doing well! I’m still here, I just don’t comment that much, lol. It’s so interesting to see how my returning of your photo has led to your November goal for this month! Im excited to see what you have in store as the days and months continue!

    1. Ayden! Thanks so much for stopping by! Finding all those photos at the antique store has been such a treasure. Did you have any idea just how many family photos were there? I owe you big time for your being so thoughtful to get in have no idea!!!

    2. I really had no idea how many photos were there! I’m hoping you were able to recover them all! I would love an update as to what happened after I returned the one to you!


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