Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Advantages of Public On-Line Family Trees-Carrie’s Letters

Several times now I have searched public on-line trees to look for answers and/or suggestions when I have hit a brick wall.  I am always happy to find a tree that has that one little extra bit of info that I didn’t have that can help me solve a new dilemma or just find new cousins. 

Several years ago when I was researching people mentioned by my great-grandmother, Carrie Terry Warner, in her letters (see Carrie’s Letters-Snow Days, Carrie’s Letters-Bringing Ancestral Letters to Life) she wrote over the course of 30 years mainly to her sister Ella Terry Billard I sometimes referred to on-line trees to match up names.  My great-grandmother’s surviving brother in 1892 was Forrest E. Terry.  One of my goals was to try and find the children/grandchildren of Ella and Forrest and try to obtain pictures of them to include with the letters.  While on my search I happened to find a family tree done by Forrest’s granddaughter Theresa.  Over the last several years Theresa and I have been able to correspond and share information about our common ancestors.  It was very interesting to know that Theresa knew nothing about her grandfather having a sister named Carrie.  Forrest was about 34 years old when my great-grandmother suddenly died.  I’m not sure why but I am guessing that since Carrie’s death was considered so tragic and that my grandfather’s family lived several towns over it was a subject that just wasn’t talked about.

I have been happy to share letters about and to Forrest with Theresa.  This helps give us both a little more information about her grandfather’s early years.  This following is a letter that Carrie wrote to her brother Forrest in the Spring of 1892 when Forrest was 16 years old.  Carrie was a teacher before getting married and I can see the ‘teacher’ and caring older sister talking in this letter.  John is Carrie’s husband, Terry and Wesley are her sons.  Lucy, I believe, is hired help for Carrie in the household.

Forrest letter 1
Forrest letter 2

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of getting to meet Theresa and her husband Dale while on vacation in Florida to spend some time with my mother.  We had a wonderful several hours together sharing stories, lunch and pictures.  As I left Theresa said that she felt like we’d always known each other and hadn’t just met that day.  I definitely felt the same!  What a wonderful experience!! I am so glad she had a public family tree on-line for me to find. 

Now I just need to connect with Ella’s great-granddaughter.  Hopefully, one day all 3 of us can get together to honor our 3 ancestors….

I would enjoy hearing any stories or information you have to share.

Enjoy the journey,


  1. Love reading your letters from Carrie and the Warner family.....

  2. Thanks Dottie! And great to know that my great-grandfather got his colt from your grandfather :)