It started with a single piece of a paper.
At age 14, my grandfather showed me a yellowed note written by his father. It was a listing of my great-grandfather’s grandparents, their children and their grandchildren. On the top of the paper was a note that my great-great-great grandparents came from Laurel County, KY about 1878. My curiosity was piqued. I had to know more.
The curiosity has turned into a lifelong hobby. I have researched family history since, and the journey has taken me across the country meeting amazing long-lost cousins. Rallying descendants from various lines of my heritage, we’ve erected tombstones for several ancestors who never had them. I’ve written books about my family. I documented family lines of those forefathers who served in the American Revolution and later joined the Sons of the American Revolution.
That’s why I was thrilled to write about and research the story behind the USS Monitor. A few years ago, scientists found the sunken remains of this Civil War-era battleship. Skeletons of two of the soldiers were found in a gun turret, and a team at LSU made facial reconstructions using a special type of delicate clay.
Once those reconstructions were complete, the NOAA had to identify a carrier to get the faces from Louisiana to Washington, DC for unveiling. Naturally, they chose UPS because of our expertise.
Genealogy is a hobby that continues to define who I am because of my amassed knowledge on the struggles and successes of those who came before me. Because the facial reconstructions arrived safely after flowing through the UPS supply chain, the NOAA now hopes to make a similar connection from descendant to ancestor.
Perhaps someone will see a familial resemblance to positively identify the soldiers. Maybe that family member is you?