Several years ago, I received telephone call that, in many ways, changed my life. I didn’t recognize the number in the caller ID, but took the call anyway, instead of letting it go to voice mail as I will often do under that circumstance.
I said “Hello”, and the voice on the other end announced “<former name>, this is your cousin, Elsie Allbright Pearson.” She had received my number from a mutual cousin, Annie Mae “Cookie” Tucker, with whom I shared an interest in genealogy and family history.
Over the next several years, Elsie and I would talk several times, sometimes several times a month, catching up on family gossip and new leads on our reclusive ancestors – many of whom fit the descriptor in my bio here on the blog of ‘social brown recluse’ – hard to find, but you know they are there! Her great-grandfather was brother to my great-great-grandmother on one side of our family and her grandfather was a brother to my great-grandmother, making us both second cousins once removed as well as third cousins once removed.
Our joint quest was to find the parents of William Larkin Jones and his sister, Francis Louella Jones Moore Rogers Allbright, a task that we failed to complete, although I have some ideas in that direction.
Sadly for me, I won’t get to share the fruits of my research with her, as Elsie passed away in January 2011, following a lengthy illness and recuperation. I suppose, given that I believe in an afterlife, that she has already found out for sure, but the long-distance service between here and there is cost-prohibitive, so we haven’t talked in a while.
Elsie, thank you for your friendship. I’m missing you greatly right now because I just came across a file on my computer titled “Things to discuss with Elsie.”
This post is dedicated to the memory of Elsie Allbright Pearson, 1939-2011