Connecting with Cousins
It seems that everywhere I go these days I meet a newly found cousin! In the past few months I've connected with cousins from three branches of my family tree. In April, cousins from my Alzo and Figlar sides attended the PanSlavic seminar in Bridgeport, CT where I was a speaker. This past weekend, while at the Pittsburgh International Folk Festival, I reconnected with a cousin on my Straka side (the son of one of my grandmother's sisters) whom I have not seen in over 20 years. He had heard of my book Three Slovak Women, and found out I had a table at the festival so came over to meet me. I gave him a copy of my book. He told his sons and the next day they came over to introduce themselves. (I am sure I met them when I was a young girl but it has been a long time so I really did not remember them). My two newly found cousins are terrific performers--I listened to them play some great Slovak tunes and perform ethnic dances at the Folk festival. They even played a special Slovak music serenade (thanks Ilarion and Steve) for me at the book table I was sharing with my two writing colleagues! I am hoping that since we have reconnected we will be able to stay in touch.
I think that making connections is one of the greatest rewards of doing genealogical research. Living tangible results. That moment when you realize, "We're related. We have a connection."
For me, it truly makes all of the time and hard work worthwhile.