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May I Introduce To You . . . Cindy Freed

I have the great pleasure of introducing Cindy Freed and her blog, Genealogy Circle, described as, “. . . Genealogy and Civil War research with a strong emphasis on helping others research their Civil War Ancestor.”

How Cindy Got Started in Genealogy

“My mom brought a shoe box full of old family photos to a family cook out. Only a few had names on them. Knowing the pictures, CVDs and a couple of tin types were nameless, family started the genealogy fever!

I started researching my family history with my two sisters about 20 years ago. One moved toCharlotteand our research took a back seat. That same sister moved back to this area about four years ago and we started researching our family genealogy again in full force.

My love of Civil War research is fairly new and has developed over the last couple years. My interest in Civil War genealogy took off as I researched my 2x grandfather who fought with the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry.”

Cindy’s Family and Her Blog

“My husband is very supportive and so is my genea-sister, but the rest of the family gets that glazed look when genealogy comes up; they’re just not that into it.

My husband and genea-sister read my blog regularly but the rest of the family prefers plain old word of mouth when it comes to family stories or details.”

Cindy’s husband came up with the title for her blog, “He’s in advertising and marketing. When I talked about this blog one evening he suggestedGenealogy Circle. He said I was making a genealogy circle going back to my family’s roots, I love it!”

Cindy’s Favorite Ancestor(s)

“Actually I have two favorite ancestors. The first is my g-g-grandfather George Washington Lowery who fought with Co.A 81stPennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. At 38 years old he left his wife and six kids to join the Union forces. Right now I’m researching whether he was a substitute and fought for another man or enlisted. It really doesn’t matter either way. If he enlisted on his own, he must have felt so strongly about the preservation of theUnion that he left a family that needed him to fight for his strongly held beliefs.  If he was a paid substitute I believe he loved his family so much that he put himself in the path of danger to make sure his wife and children had money to live. I’m convinced that George Washington Lowery was a man of honor and integrity toward his family and his country. I’ll bet if I could talk to him today he’d be stunned to think I hold his actions in such high regard.  I imagine he’d reply he was just doing the right thing.

My other favorite ancestor is my g-g-grandmother Rebecca Holmes Williams. As a young married woman with a couple of babies she and her family moved across the state. Rebecca’s grandparents and parents made the move as well. I see Rebecca as the sandwiched generation, trying to set up her own home in the new area as well as tending to the needs of her parents and grandparents. Rebecca was also the mother of seven children. Only three lived to adulthood and Rebecca still outlived two of those adult children. My g-g-grandmother had to have been a strong woman. She cared for her parents and grandparents, worked along side her husband farming the strange new, land they moved to and buried six of her seven children. Rebecca had to have been an amazing woman and I truly am proud to be one of her descendants.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Cindy’s Life

“Genealogy has taught me patience, not everything has an immediate answer. (That was an early lesson!) It has produced a new level of joy for me. (Yep I do a fist pumping, happy dance when I finally find a morsel of information after an extended research!) Yet the real improvement genealogy has brought to my life is probably awareness and gratefulness. I have learned that no matter what the era, people are really all the same. Every generation wants to find love, build a good life and enjoy the work of their hands. When called upon they have served their country, tended their sick and helped their neighbors in need and they did it all under some very demanding circumstances. I realize that today we really aren’t that different from our ancestors.

I’m grateful in two ways. First to find that my ancestors were ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘the backbone of this country.’ I’m grateful that their hard work made the whole of me today.  Secondly I’m grateful that I was born mid-last-century and have never hauled water, gone outside to use the facilities or build a fire to cook a meal! When we moved it wasn’t with a team of horses and a wagon! I’m grateful I was born in an era that has microwaves, cell phones and computers! And that my ancestors’ journey has resulted in me being here, who I am, right now.”

What Cindy Loves Most About Genealogy

“I am a lucky researcher. I still live in the area where my family settled 160 years ago. With a short drive, I can visit the graves of numerous ancestors, even my 4x grandparents. I have been able to go through land records and find the properties my ancestors farmed. The house my 2x grandparents lived in still stands. To be able to walk in their footsteps, look out on the farmland they looked at is amazing to me. I can almost feel them. I love that I can really put their lives, their stories together. I know where I come from because I’m learning fully about them.

I absolutely love Civil War research! My hope is too remember the individual stories of the soldiers (on both sides) so they are not lost in history. It’s easy to read about a battle, even see the high casualty rate and forget that those numbers were real people. I want to make sure those real people are not forgotten.”

Cindy’s Time Capsule Message

“You come from a long line of people with tremendous strength and character. Look deep inside because it’s there within you too. It’s been passed down through the generations. Go out and live a big, wonderful life! Work hard, help others, enjoy yourself and know your ancestors live on just a bit more through you!”

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Please take a moment to visit Cindy’s blog. Leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by. Welcome Cindy, it’s great to have you here!

© 2012, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!

Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

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