Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blogging + Cousin Bait = Mystery Picture Success!

  When I began this blog over a year ago, I did so in hopes of reaching "Cousins".
I knew there had to be others out there researching the same lines as me! I also wanted to share my findings with family members and other genealogists as well.
 I had heard much about Blogs being "Cousin Bait". You know- you put the info out there and then search engines will reel them in.
 Well, it happened! It took over a year, but it happened!
 I received an email a few months back from a "Cousin" on my Early/Baker lines. She had found my Blog and Face Book page by doing a search on Google. She was just beginning her research process and wanted to know more. I sent her what I had and in turn she shared with me.
 One thing she shared was another "cousin connection".  She sent me the email address of a person that I had tried to contact  before but had been unsuccessful in doing so. I sent a new message telling her who had given me her email address and asked if she could shed any light on the family. I explained that we shared common ancestors. Her Grandmother was my Grandmother's sister.
 She emailed me back! With pictures!! She said that after a fire at her Grandmother Lola's house a few pictures had been found and that she had them.
 Most of what she sent were pictures that I already had, but there was one that she sent that I had never seen before. She had no idea who it was and asked if I knew.
I had no clue who it was. I told her that I would take it to the next Baker family reunion that was to be held this June. Maybe someone there would know. Since the picture was recovered from Lola's house, it could have been from the Baker/ Early line or from Lola's husband's line, or it could have been a friend of the family.
 I didn't have high hopes that anyone would know.
  The day of the reunion was crazy! An hour and a half drive took almost 3 due to traffic and a wreck on a main road. I figured not many people would be left to ask about the picture by the time we got there. Once we arrived I was sad to see that not many people had even showed up to the reunion. The regulars couldn't be there due to scheduling conflicts.
  I pulled out the mystery picture and started showing it to some of the older people in the group.  My heart nearly stopped as I heard the words " I believe that to be Jubal Early"!
 Jubal Early was my Grandmother's father! I had never seen a picture of him. Another of the older generation looked at it and recognized the picture as Jubal as well.  I couldn't believe it!
 Once I got home I had my Father attach the picture to an email and send it to his cousin. They are grandchildren of Jubal. Without telling her who he thought it was he asked her if she could identify the picture. She responded quickly...."it's Jubal Early!"
  Now I have three people who have identified the picture as Jubal. I feel comfortable that it is indeed him. I have asked to see if there are any other pictures so that I can compare them. I have also sent copies of the picture to other family members to see if they can positively identify him.

Jubal Ransom Early
Copy of Original Owned By Bree Lawson

   So what did I learn from this experience? Blogs can indeed be "Cousin Bait".
 I also learned the importance of contacting as many family members as possible.  Cousins no matter how many times removed may have just what you have been looking for.
 Thanks Cuz!!

© Cheri Hudson Passey


  1. Oh isn't that wonderful! Interesting name, and what a nice-looking man too. I've received several wonderful photos from 2nd cousins and 3rds as well. Worth the effort. I'm one of the 'older' crowd now, still looking for a younger generation budding genealogist somewhere in the group.

    1. An interesting name for an interesting character! I have been looking for a picture of him for many years. My father, who was his grandson had never seen a picture and had only met him a few times many years ago. He wasn't able to identify the picture. Thank goodness one was found and someone knew who is was!
      So glad you stopped by.
      Thanks Celia!

  2. That is so exciting! I love old photos and to see a photo and know it is your ancestor is so cool. And your blogging efforts paid off (and gives the rest of us hope).

    1. I have heard so many times that blogging would eventually pay off! I am so glad that it did and hope it will continue to in the future. Makes me want to blog more often. If only there were more hours in the day!
      Thanks so much for stopping by. There is hope!!

  3. Way to go Cheri!! I remember seeing him, but could not positively identify him from a picture. I do remember going to his funeral with MaMa.

  4. Congratulations for getting to that reunion, even through it took 3 hours. That turned out to be the One Way to get Jubal Early recognized! You have found your great-grandfather! It's a good picture, too, of a handsome and prosperous man looking straight at the camera! And let's see . . . your father's grandfather . . . I think you are bringing your family together by attending your reunion (even though the regulars couldn't make it), making contacts, and asking questions. Terrific work!

    Now that you have started the ball rolling, I believe that others in your family will start bringing out their pictures and asking their questions. And maybe next year there will even be more people at your reunion.

    1. It was quite a trip! I am still on cloud 9 about it! The reunion is held every two years in Sumter. I haven't been able to attend for awhile. Sure glad I made it this year!
      Thanks so much for always giving me such positive feedback!