As I am thinking to the near future when I might want to take client work as a professional genealogist, I spent a little time this week thinking about how I might want to organize my time in order to keep working on my own ancestors, take gravestone photographs, write blogs and be a grandmother. That seems like a lot to do but then I remembered that I was teaching, writing a book and magazine articles, going to graduate school and doing my own family research. [I suppose that's why I'm so tired!]
A long time ago, when I was young, my husband and I bought a small house here in Bridgewater in an area that was once farmland and woods. An elderly lady and her unmarried son lived across the street in a small house built for them because the old farmhouse was too much for them to manage. They maintained a huge vegetable garden and I was supplied with more vegetables than I could cook or eat. She was a delightful person and insisted that I call her "Granny". She was a great watchdog and when we went on vacation, she guarded my house and called the police if even a leaf moved.
Granny was so delighted when I told her that I was going to have a baby and I was glad to have her around until my daughter was just over a year old. I learned a lot about Bridgewater from this family.
Her youngest child, an adult man older than I am, lives there now and he showed me a family tree that hung on the wall in the house. I knew from Granny's obituary that her maiden name was Collamore. It turns out that the tree was a school project of one of the grandchildren and I photographed it so he could give it back to that niece. I printed a few copies of it for him to pass around this next Easter Sunday. [Sneaky, huh, a genealogist trick?]
That's when he told me that there was a "Collamore" book. I figured it was a compiled genealogy. The niece photocopied pages from it and glued them to that tree.
It only took a few minutes to locate two copies of the Collamore genealogy online. The photographs were the same, so I knew I had the right one. One copy was available as a public domain download in Acrobat format and the other was in the "family histories" section of Ancestry.com.
After about two hours, I was drowning in data, but I figured out why the niece had trouble with surnames. It is a double Collamore family. Granny's parents were BOTH Collamores! (Welcome to New England!) Now, I was really hooked.
I have started a tree at Ancestry.com in memory of Granny. I think this will be an interesting and good first attempt at client work. After all, I must owe Granny at least a million dollars in payment for the free vegetables, right?
Hatch, Charles. (1915). Genealogy of the Descendants of Anthony Collamer (Collamore) of Scituate, Massachusetts. Salem, Massachusetts: Newcomb & Gauss.