|Main entrance of the Birmingham Public Library, my first research stop.|
That's when I updated my family tree on Ancestry.com and got one of those shaky leaf hints they are always talking about in their commercials. (This is NOT a commercial. Those ads make genealogy look like a walk in the park where you barely put in any effort and your whole ancestry unfurls in front of you like a red carpet. FALSE FALSE FALSE. But, I digress.) That hint directed me to another user's tree that shared individuals with mine. I clicked on the username to get more info, but it said that this person hadn't logged in in over a year. Still, I figured I'd reach out, so I sent a message and went to bed.
|Alabama Department of Archives and History, in Montgomery.|
I was in an archive in Montgomery when I got the first email. There was some mime-screaming. And some chair dancing. And a VERY excited call to my grandmother, Steve Evans' daughter. I wrote back, and then finished my research and headed back to Birmingham, since my trip was wrapping up.
As we exchanged emails, it came out that I was in Birmingham, and guess what? So was the cousin who was raised by Janie Mae! And she sure enough made sure that we met up both my last night in Birmingham and the very next morning - she literally dropped me off at the train station.
|Headed towards the former coal camps of New Castle, Alabama.|
I'm excited to share what I've learned, but bear with me, b/c I need to organize the info before I can write about it! I'm also very excited to continue to get to know Janie Mae's descendents, and of course, for them to be in touch with Steve's other descendants (and Marshall Evans' descendants as well). Who knows, maybe there'll be a reunion in our family future?
But, as a start, my Grandma now has her cousins' info and a picture of her aunt. And I've got two new Facebook friends :)
Note: We did a lot of talking and looking at photos, and yet, somehow we managed to forget to take a picture together! Next time!