Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

You never know who you may inspire!

November 30, 2014 / by davidwalton

Me?  An inspiration? I never thought of myself as anyone’s inspiration, but I was certainly flattered when I received a most gracious email from a former work colleague who credits me with inspiring her to research her genealogy.

Through her research, Ann discovered her ancestors lived in Louisville.

Through her research, Ann discovered her ancestors lived in Louisville.

I’ve been truly enjoying your blog. In fact, you inspired me to finally do something I’ve been meaning to do for years. I’ve begun charting my family tree and researching my ancestors. I’ve already found some astounding things. The branch of the family that I thought was fairly new in America turns out to go all the way back to the Mayflower – literally!  But there is another fact that I have learned that is absolutely mind blowing.

My father was transferred to Louisville in 1968 and brought the family with him. This was a new experience for all of us – all born in the northeast and suddenly finding ourselves in a different culture where we had difficulty even understanding what people were saying. My father’s family was from Northern New York State, my mother’s from Eastern Pennsylvania, and my siblings and I had been raised in North Jersey. We hadn’t ever even met anyone from Kentucky.

Fairly early in my research I found that I might actually have roots in Louisville. My great-grandfather appears to have enlisted in the army from Louisville. He was stationed in Wyoming when my grandfather was born and was in New York State where he settled his family when he was posted to China and then to the Philippines. My grandfather stayed in New York to raise his own family when his father was subsequently transferred to Salt Lake City and then California. My Dad and his siblings never knew their grandfather and didn’t know anything of his origins. My research was telling me that my great-grandfather enlisted here in Louisville because he was raised here. The graves of his father and his grandfather (my 2x and 3x great-grandfathers) are in Cave Hill Cemetery not two blocks from where I live now – a location where I have frequently enjoyed long walks over the past four years completely unaware of family buried there. It turns out that I have deeper and stronger roots in Louisville than many of the “natives” do. What a discovery!

I’m now attempting to find any remaining cousins that might still live here, hoping that I can bring the family full circle.

I’m so grateful that the inspiration of your blog led to this wonderful experience. You’ll have to visit soon and see the extensive family tree I’ve worked up. I may even take you to visit my newly found family in Cave Hill.

Many thanks, 

I took Ann up on her offer and visited her at home in Louisville where she shared with me her research.  Amazing!!

Afterwards, we drove over to Cave Hill Cemetery where we visited a couple of her ancestors’ graves including her great-great-great-grandfather.

I am so flattered that Ann says I was one of the inspirations leading to her research. Genealogy leads us to our past; our roots; our genetic makeup and memory.

What have you discovered during your research? Who or what inspired you to start your research?

Until next time…

One thought on “You never know who you may inspire!

  1. Jana Last says:

    This is awesome David! Congrats on inspiring your friend to discover her family history. If she decides to start a blog, please let your followers know so we can follow her blog as well.

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