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Reason #1 Why Not to Throw Out Papers (and unidentified photos)

You never know what you can find from old documents. They are treasures to be sure!!! Around the holidays, my wonderful grandmother gave me a copy of a letter that was written to my great-grandfather (her dad) in the 1950s. It was a treasure trove of family history and genealogical information!!! The letter was written by a woman who was a first cousin of my great-grandfather. I had never heard of her and quickly went to work verifying and entering the information into my tree. Both my grandfather's mother (Mary), and this woman's father (Jeremiah) were siblings. They were born in West Cork, Ireland (on Sheepshead Peninsula), and immigrated as young children with their family to upstate NY in the 1840s presumably due to the Potato Famine. I was able to follow Jeremiah's family down generations to living people and found my 3rd cousin once removed. Ironically we both grew up in different states, but now live only about 45 minutes apart! We were able to meet briefly this summer and hope to get together again soon.


This is my great-great-grandmother, Mary.

But that isn't all. My grandmother also gave me another round of papers and photographs and in there was this picture of an unidentified man, likely from the 1870s. When talking with my new cousin, I decided to send him the picture to see if he knew who it was and...BINGO!!! He said that an almost identical picture was on the wall in his childhood home and he was absolutely certain it was his great-grandfather, Jeremiah.

This is Jeremiah


In conclusion, PLEASE do not throw away old pictures and old letters just because you may not be able to identify them right away! You never know what you will be able to figure out or what someone else may be able to figure out for you!


This is my newly found cousin and me this summer. I think he looks like Jeremiah!

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