Recent Weekly Genealogist surveys have asked about summer houses, family reunions, and family associations. Here are some reader comments on these topics:
Pam Tice of New York, N.Y.: My family’s been vacationing in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, for more than 100 years. I've been researching the area and the families that have lived there for some time, and now I have started a blog (www.southwellfleet.wordpress.com) to share my research. I'm focusing on the five miles or so surrounding the old cottages, and am using my interest in history combined with skills I’ve developed researching various family histories.
Mildred Clough of Redwood City, California: I am a part owner of a summer home bought 103 years ago by my grandfather on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont. I put the history together in a book with pictures and a bit of genealogy of the five generations that have enjoyed it. The house was about nineteen years old when my grandparents bought it and it has grown in all directions to accommodate the growing family in the years since then.
Marlene Case of Foxboro, Wisconsin: My son, daughter, grandson, and I attended a family reunion in Westerville, Ohio, this summer, which celebrated the 100th birthday of my cousin, Arlene Edwards Melander. Through discussions with family members, and some research at the Ohio Genealogical Society, near Westerville, I connected with a heretofore unknown cousin in Illinois, who helped me not only break through a brick wall to find my grandfather's grandfather, but to find a patriot in my grandfather's mother's Lipe line. Not only was I able to scan lots of photos of our Edwards and Lipe ancestors, but I am now eligible to join the DAR! It was a most enjoyable and productive reunion.
Kari Lemons of Mountain View, California: We attend a different kind of reunion every summer in the Colorado Rockies. My two children are adopted from Cambodia. We attend Colorado Cambodian Heritage Camp, which this year included 69 adoptive families representing all the states, 41 college-age Cambodian counselors, and a group of 30 Cambodian-Americans who assist the camp with cooking, music, native dance, native art projects, and in many other ways. During the five years we have attended my children have stopped hating their brown skin, gained pride for their birth country, and now as teens are learning what it means to be Cambodian-American. This is our family reunion every summer.
Karen Festa of Byfield, Massachusetts: I thought I would share how my "family association" came to be. I first started gathering information about my family in 2000, and when I retired from teaching in 2009, I was able to pick up the small threads I had and begin to develop them. I reconnected with a cousin and we shared information. This led to contacting other cousins and getting together periodically to share information, stories, pictures, and food. I began to put together a picture history of the family with some basic facts about each person and his or her individual family, and we decided to expand this into a book. The information and photographs cover our parents, grandparents, and the names of our great-grandparents, as well as our generation and our children’s generation. My personal journey has developed through the interest of my cousins, finding relatives in our families, and gaining enough confidence in my research methods to begin delving into the possibility of researching in Poland. It's been quite an adventure.