Oct 1 - Anniversary of our trip to Kansas!
One year ago, my sister and I traveled to Coffeyville KS to meet our Copeland, Finney, and McKay relations. Only the year before that, I didn't know of their existance. I began my ancestry research in late 2007/early 2008. By early 2009, I found out about my grandfather's family from an online Copeland genealogy created by Nancy Jones. From that I was able to develop my family tree, but best of all - I began contacting cousins! Many were cousins once or twice removed, but some were my Dad's cousins. They were my people - blood of my blood!
I found these cousins by using the Internet white pages and mailing out letters. Ralph Copeland got my letter, and took copies to his cousin Virginia Copeland Noble, and she mailed a copy to her brother George Copeland and his wife Maxine in Missouri. Ralph gave me the contact information for Melvin Koons in Arizona, and an active exchange of phone calls, letters, and emails brought my sister and I to Kansas.
During that time, I had also been in contact with Finney descendants. My Dad's grandmother was a Finney. So Harold and Bonney Finney invited me to the annual Finney reunion, which had been going on since 1890 or so. Another Finney descendant was Dale Williams, who invited us to stop by as soon as we flew into Tulsa, OK. We met him and his wife Barbara, visited, had dinner, and then saw them at the Finney reunion.
Our trip was too short, but we did meet all our cousins/cuzzins - and we have a richer, fuller life because of them.
It's been 1 year, and since then a lot has happened. Dale Williams died suddenly during surgery a month after we met him. In May 2010, George Copeland celebrated his 90th birthday. In June 2010, Arlene Copeland passed. Life goes on for the Copelands, Finneys, and McKays - and I am so glad to know all of them!