As often happens when we approach holiday seasons, MyHeritage.com 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.