For me genealogy is about sharing, giving credit and payback! This time payback went full circle with the help of social networking.
Fourteen years ago, when I first began using the internet for my genealogy research, the work done on the family of my immigrant ancestor Johan Jacob RUPP and his wife Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER appeared to be the most thoroughly done. In time I learned that there were several persons responsible for the large amount of work on the family. One of them was my friend Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008).
He sent me a copy of his book My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000) in February 2002 to thank me for sharing information and photos of my visit to the RUPP family’s village in Northern Alsace in December 2001. In the introduction he wrote:
I must give some recognition to Linda Dickey Roop….She had done some research and we made the decision that she would, with my help, write the book. So I sent her copies of all that I had pertaining to the family…..she sent me a rough draft for me to read, update, correct and comment. I did that immediately and returned same to her. Linda died in September 1994 from a fast growing cancer at the age of 51, without publishing the book, so I am attempting to take it from there.
So much of the history and genealogy have been lost forever, and I have not found another book written about our family, are the reasons that I am trying to write this book in order to preserve the small amount that I have found. Yes, there will be errors and omissions and I welcome each and everyone who sees something wrong to please let me hear from you in order that I can place it in an addendum to the book and make it a more complete product. I would love to spend the remainder of my days trying to make it perfect, but since we never know how many days we have left in this life, I think it is time to publish and get something about our family before the public now. I am not copyrighting this because I want to share and make available to all; therefore, if you feel the urge to take any or all of it in order to publish a more complete book, lots of luck.
Also my wife should be given some credit for the book because she allowed me to make trips (mostly to Virginia) to gather data from other Rupe descendants, libraries, courthouses, and cemeteries. She also let me spend many hours in my “computer room” when I really should have been going for groceries, digging in flower beds, running the sweeper, etc., because she had polio in 1950 and has been in a wheelchair ever since that time.
Everette loved his family. He was so thrilled when his first great-grandson was born in 2006 on his wife’s birthday and saddened that she did not live to share his joy. When his second great-grandson was born in 2007 he wasn’t disappointed that his birthday was missed by a few days. He had two great-grandsons to keep the McGrew name going and he was happy.
This year I got the chance to pay Everette back for sharing his research with me.
In April Anita Lavender Daniel messaged me through ancestry.com. She was assisting her best friend Patty Meyers Royal with documentation required to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) on the service of her 4th great-grandfather William McALEXANDER. They had most everything she needed with the exception of the generation of Isabelle RUPE, daughter of Crockett RUPE and Poratha McALEXANDER, and husband J. F. JOHNSON.
Anita wanted to know if Isabell’s date of death was in “my” Rupe Bible. She had seen the following statement in my gedcom file:
My mother….gave me the large, crumbling Rupe Family Bible (1875 Edition) which contained data on her grandfather, Crockett Rupe, and his children. I never asked her where she got it.
I hadn’t worked on the ROOP/RUPE family for a while but knew that my friend Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) was the only person who had ever mentioned a Bible to me. Unfortunately Everette had passed away and I didn’t have a contact address for any of his children.
After a week of trying to find an address or email address I took more drastic measures – I friended Mike McGREW and his daughter Erin on Facebook and hoped that one of them would accept. Everette was such a kind man, I was sure that his children and grandchildren were the same and would help if only I could get in touch.
Erin was the first to send a message asking how she could help. I explained that I was acting as a go-between for a genealogist who was interested in her grandfather’s family Bible. She didn’t know anything about it and passed the message on to her Dad. I hoped that the Bible hadn’t gotten “lost” after Everette’s death.
Within two days I had four new friends on Facebook.
Anita wrote, “DAR will accept scanned copies of Bible pages if they are readable and submitted with a copy of the front page of the Bible that shows date of publication.”
Mike messaged me, “Unfortunately the cover and title pages are missing. I’ll take pictures of the Bible and maybe that will suffice.” Mike scanned and photographed the Bible, emailed the files to me, and I forwarded them to Anita and Patty.
“I think these pages along with what I already have will give me enough proof to link all the generations. I know Patty appreciates it as well. I will be seeing her soon and will give her a copy of the Bible pages. This will be a treasure to hand down to her grandchildren,” Anita wrote and thanked me for all my help.
Patty’s application was submitted after the chapter board met in late June. On August 19th Anita let me know that Patty’s DAR application was approved and she was awaiting assignment of her national number to make it official!
Everette Llavon McGrew and Patty Meyers Royal are 2nd cousins 1 time removed. Their common ancestors are Crockett RUPE and Poratha McALEXANDER. Everette who had a deep appreciation of his ancestors’ lives would have been proud to be a part of helping his cousin Patty in her endeavour to prove her lineal, bloodline descent from their common ancestor William McALEXANDER (1744-1822) who assisted in achieving American independence.
© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey