This is when the Internet is awesome

In Oregon, someone found an old picture in storage, and listed it on craigslist. On the back of the photo were a few notes indicating the name of the subject (Absalum Reeves), and the day he died (June 1885). Fortunately, they included these details in the listing.

My mother-in-law Barb has long been interested in genealogy, and has researched hers extensively, uploading her research to a genealogy website. Specifically, one of the notes on the back of the picture said, “My mothers father Absalum Reeves Leap died June 1885 William B Snyder”, and the names “Absalum Reeves Leap” and “William Snyder” both appear in Barb’s uploaded genealogy report. A stranger saw the listing and connected that to Barb’s genealogy. Putting two and two together, she emailed Barb to see if she would be interested in the picture.

It turns out that the photograph shows Barb’s great-grandfather, and she knows quite a bit about him through her research. His mother (my wife’s great-great-great-grandmother) was born in Illinois and died shortly after giving birth to her youngest child, Absalum. Afterwards, the family (including Absalum) moved to Iowa. He died following an accident in 1885, as the back of the picture indicates.

In fact, Barb’s aunt remembers this specific picture hanging on her great-grandmother’s wall!

Naturally, Barb was interested in the picture, and my father-in-law bought it for her for her birthday. How cool is it that something like this could find it’s way back to the family, specifically to someone interested in the history of the family?

A lot of times the internet is just Facebook, Farmville, pictures of cats, and videos of people getting hit in the nuts. There is something to all of that, but it’s also nice to have an example of something awesome that simply couldn’t have happened in an earlier age.

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