With the power of the internet, genealogy has been “revolutionize.” However, as every family historian has discovered, when you begin to trace your ancestors, you are inspired by other researchers within the genealogy community. Genealogy is a collective knowledge. My friend, Rickie Marshall a researcher/family historian, leads out with the VI Ancestry Group on St. Croix and works with the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums. She is the most inspiring person one would want to meet at the library. I am thankful, for her kindness and friendship, but mostly for having the audacity to believe.
I’ve been influenced by Rickie’s positive attitude towards genealogy, especially when it can become quite daunting. I remember feeling like the rug was pulled from under my feet. Over the past 15 months of extensive planning and research for the Bough Family Reunion held in July 2012, I was tasked with having the tree chart ready for display. The tree had about 60 names to begin with, but once the family caught the gene-fever, in the span of 6 months the tree expanded to over 900 names.
Part of the reason why the family tree was growing so fast, was because family members were able to participate by entering their basic family information on their branch of the tree. Plus with the additional research data from Rickie it was almost an over-flow. This tree climbed up to 9 generations.
Rickie and I decided that the best way to display the tree at the family reunion would be in the form of a Family Tree Scroll. With that in mind, I continued to receive information for the chart, I gave myself a deadline of a couple of weeks up to the big day before the cut-off. Setting a deadline was crucial as it allowed me to make the necessary edits and corrections before printing the lengthy scroll.After going from place to place with the data, I discovered that no vendor on the island had the software connected to print the scroll. After nearly two years of prepping for this moment, I was exhausted, and threw my hands up believing that this was over and it couldn’t happen. I came to the conclusion that I would be cutting and pasting the next week. I started to get the feeling of despair and hopelessness.
After telling Rickie about my dilemma, she agreed to go with me to the vendor and talk I.T. language and was sure it could happen. We spent some time printing samples, and talking ideas to the manager who shook his head and said he didn’t have the type of printer/software to help.
My conversation with Rickie when we left the store was all negative, while her response was one of hope and solutions. I couldn’t imagine or understand the logistics of transcribing all that data or anything else. In the meantime I was setting myself up for the task of cutting and pasting. I hadn’t seen. or heard, from Rickie for a while. We were days leading up to the event, I don’t think I slept at all those couple of weeks.
Then I got that 2am text, “We got it done pick up the scroll!!!” I was ecstatic.
On this Thankful Thursday, I thank Rickie Marshall for having the audacity to believe, when the forecast looked gray, and for her immeasurable patience.
Thank you again for your continued inspiration.
And thank you for being my friend.