Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just One Phone Call

Friday I made two phone calls. One to Mississippi, the Tishomingo County Archives, to track to track down Lonnie Gordon. After I got through the thick southern accent (I'm Missouri born and bred and everytime I think I'm "southern" all I have to do is call somewhere actually "south" like Mississippi or Alabama and that gently corrects me), I asked if they had records.

I gave her the name and the details over the phone, then emailed them over to her, and should see if they have any records down there. Since I called right before closing, I need to call back next week to get results - if they don't email me back first. I've seen conflicting reports about where this guy was born, but he wrote "Iuka, Mississippi" on his draft card, so I'm going to go with that for that.

The other phone call I made was to a local funeral home (situated in my ancestors' hometown, about 45 minutes away from my town). I wanted to know if they have funeral records. The lady that answered the phone sounded a bit impatient, telling me the records lady wasn't there. I have a degree in journalism and I've worked for/with newspapers for years, so I'm used to making cold calls and I can deal with impatient/rude/snippy people.

"Okay, when will the 'records lady' be there?" I asked.

"She'll be here Monday," was the response. Then as a helpful tidbit, she added the records lady's name. Guess what, people? It was my great-aunt. The records lady is my great-aunt M. This is a woman I don't really speak to. Not because I hate her or anything, let's make this clear here - the truth is that side of my family is really, really sparse and the ones that are left aren't really close, and we can go years not speaking simply because we have nothing to say to each other. It's sad, really, but it's the truth.

The last time I spoke to this lady was two years ago, in a very brief (and a rather unpleasant call), and before that was four years ago when her husband passed away and I saw her at the funeral. Before that I'm pretty sure it was another funeral. Are you getting the picture here?

After I stopped laughing and confirmed this was the same person I thought it was, I told the confused lady that this was my aunt, my name, and to have her call me. I also had to make sure to write on the "call your niece" note that "NOBODY DIED".

It only takes one phone call to re-connect you to family.


  1. I understand about the accents. I'm a northerner (from Washington STATE) but I'm currently living in Savannah, GA. I often have to ask people to repeat themselves. :)
    That is so funny about the records lady being your aunt! What a coincidence. :)
    Glad to have found your blog! I'm your newest follower.


  2. It's amazing how one phonecall can change the course of your research isn't it?

    I have nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award. Hope you haven't already received it.