Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Open Letter to Genea-Santa

Dearest Genea-Santa,

I'll be frank: it's been a rough year. That herniated disc thing really set my research/learning goals way back. Many days are still a struggle, although I'm happy to be off the pain meds and finally getting some strength back in my arm.

Despite this year's big set-back, I think I've been a pretty good girl. I've tried to be the best mom I can be to my little girl, which of course is my #1 priority. I helped a friend of a good friend finish her DAR application, which had been languishing unapproved on the genealogist's desk for about a year. I did a bunch of look-ups in the DAR's Seimes Technology Center, and made copies of applications and supporting documentation for several geneablogger friends (who, I hope, will eventually join the DAR!). I also helped at least a dozen kids join the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.), and filled quite a few Find A Grave photo requests for cemeteries all over the Central Coast (with the help of my husband and daughter sometimes).

Not to sound ungrateful or anything, but I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't bring me much from last year's wish list. I'm still stumped on Miles SWEANEY and Samuel Marion DUNN, and there's absolutely no sign of the family violin (my father thinks it was destroyed).

You did, however, manage to find my grandfather's typewriter, for which I'm very grateful. I thought this item was lost forever, but it turns out that my cousin had it in her closet all along! Many thanks to my cousin(s) for this gift, as well as for another early Christmas present: a big box of my aunt's original research, which was given to me after she passed away last month. I'm sure you must have had a hand in these wonderful gifts, didn't you, Genea-Santa? If you did, thank you!

Now... on to this year's wish list:

1. I still really want leads on Miles SWEANEY (SWANAY? SWANEY?).

While I was able to find some meager clues about him last summer in the DAR Library, they weren't really anything I didn't already know, and they didn't answer the questions I had from last year. I still have no idea where he came from, where he was born (nothing concrete, at least), where he died, or where he was buried. I'd love it if you could point me in the right direction on this one.

2. The date and place of Dennis Delaney's death.

I'm closing in on this one! I accidentally tripped (not literally) over a newspaper clipping in one of my grandmother's scrapbooks which indicated that he was still alive after his daughter got married. You sent me some good clues this year, and when I organized them all in an evidence analysis assignment for my ProGen Study Group, I realized that I had more information than I thought! I guessed his date of death at some time between 1906 and 1910; but now with the information from Grandma's scrapbook, I can put it at between 1916 and 1920, probably in Nebraska. I haven't been able to find him in either the 1910 or 1920 U.S. Census, so perhaps you could help me out, since I know now he was alive in 1910?

3. Information on my Great-Great-Grandfather, Henry L. DAGLE

Henry was born in Vermont in August 1859, and died after 1930 (probably in Iowa). He was married to Mederese W. LAFLEUR, born January 1864 in Canada, and died after 1930 (I really need that 1940 Census, Genea-Santa!). They had 8 children that I know of, including my great-grandfather, George D. DAGLE. When and where did he die? Who were his parents? Also, generally-speaking, I would love to know if our DAGLES really dropped the "i" in DAIGLE as my mother claimed, and if they are any relation to the surname DAIGRE. Do you think you could also find for me a male DAGLE ancestor who might be willing to take a DNA test?

4. Speaking of DNA, I'd really like more participants to join the SWANAY/SWANEY (and other variant spellings) DNA Surname Project.

A few more folks found us this year, but not enough to draw any useful conclusions. If you could send a few more good men my way (ahem), especially those from the variant spelling surnames, it would be fantastic. Please don't forget to tell them about the sale prices at FTDNA, good until December 31st!

Genea-Santa, in addition to these things - for which I hope I'm not being too greedy - please fulfill the wishes of my genea-blogging friends. May they find peace, happiness, and health - as well as break through a few more brick walls - in the coming year.

Oh, and I could also use some continued improvement to my back, which would be a gift that my whole family would appreciate.

Finally, if you could find a way to bring me more hours in a day so I can work on/complete the many projects I've got in the hopper, I would be a very happy girl!

Thank you for whatever you can do this year, Genea-Santa. My daughter is SO looking forward to your visit; it's the first time she's really had any clue as to who you are or what you do. By the way, we can't wait to see you at the mall later this week - hopefully my daughter won't scream and cry like she did two years ago (sorry about that), but no guarantees.

Really, I wish I knew how you manage to get so much accomplished and be in so many places. Your time-management skills are truly to be admired!


P.S. We'll leave out our customary cookies and milk, as well as some carrots for the reindeer. We've got a little Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog in the 'fridge - you're welcome to take some home with you, but please don't drink and drive. We don't want to be responsible for Genea-Santa getting a DUI!


Written for part 2 of the 86th Edition, Carnival of Genealogy: "Dear Genea-Santa."

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Print this post


Renate said...

Okay, I'm going to try this again. I just wrote out a comment to you, but I accidentally hit a key, an dit disappeared!

What I was saying was....

This is a great letter to Genea-Santa! I really enjoyed reading it. :) Of course, you've peaked my interest with the mention of your family violin. If you don't know why, check either of these two posts from my blog:



I will be checking out your blog to learn more about it as soon as I finish typing this (again). :)

Also, I can truly empathize with your situation with your back, as I suffer from the same. My prayers are with you for a continued recovery and hopefully, a pain-free life!

Well, that's not exactly how I said it all the first time, but I think I made my points...lol.

Happy holidays!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Renate - sorry to hear about the technical difficulties, but thanks so much for sticking around and giving it another try!

I was a violinst for a number of years, and my grandfather always wanted me to have the "family violin." It apparently met its demise in an outdoor storage locker: rain, mold, and fire most likely did it in. I don't play any longer, but still have 3 violins!

I'm so sorry to hear that you also suffer with DDD. It's a nasty booger that has made my life h#ll for most of this year. I'm learning to live with it. I do wish you a pain-free life as well.

Thanks again for stopping by and leaving such kind comments. Happy holidays to you and yours!

hummer said...

I love your letter. What a way to give voice to your desires. Don't we all wish Santa would come an solve our hardest family mysteries for us. I had to giggle at your ending. Great Christmas post.

Amy Coffin said...

Starting the DAR process is on my list of things to do very soon. I'm trying to connect with the local DAR lady everyone keeps talking about here and I always miss her.

Thank you again for copying the documents for me. I'm bringing them to CHristmas to show my dad.