Earlier this week with a few keystrokes of her computer, my cousin Monique found a book about our third great grandfather. She typed in the words “Stuart” (granddaddy’s last name), “pecan” (one of the things he grew on his farm in Ocean Springs, Mississippi), and “Company” (because she figured some business operation had to sell all the crops and livestock he raised).
She was right. In a matter of seconds, she unearthed an invaluable treasure: The Pecan, and how to Grow It, a book dedicated to our third great grandfather, Col. W.R. Stuart available in the public domain through Google books. I haven’t read all 90 pages of it yet, but the picture it boasts of the Stuart Pecan Co’s exhibit at the 1833 World’s Fair in Chicago and several references to the colonel as the father of pecan culture have me hopeful.
The book could help in our search to piece together our family tree, but just as important, it’s a wonderful addition to our growing collection of family mementos. The discovery has me in awe of my cousin’s researching prowess as well as the almighty hand of Google that can reach back two centuries and connect us to our past.
It was, after all, the internet that brought Monique and I together. (Read her earlier post on how we met). With the help of technology, we’ve been able to find in the past six months what I was not able to even approach in the decade that I was attending genealogy workshops and buckling at the knees at the the thought of all the government agencies I’d need to write or visit just to find when my ancestors died or if they had a birth certificate. Technology is awesome and our family stories are the priceless elixir that fuel it.
It was listening to her dad talk about family lore that prompted Monique to type the prophetic search term “Stuart Pecan Company.” It was while talking on the phone to another cousin of mine just yesterday that revealed yet another family treasure, a decorative cup that belonged to our third great grandmother Temple Burton. I’ll write more about that one next time and hopefully, through the power of iphone and wordpress, give you a picture of it as well.
Meanwhile, I’d love to see any family treasures you’ve found and hear how you found them.