Genealogy: Remember to say “Thank you”

On September 1, this year, I was researching a Carrier relative on I did something I rarely do, I added “Family Trees” and “Photos & Maps” to my search. I found this picture.

carrierzeliajessiegeorgianaelisac1892Four ancestors I had never seen an image of before. I was thrilled!
I traced the photo back to a tree created by user Cgl933, who had also posted several other photographs of my Carrier family. It was the most well-documented tree on Ancestry I had ever come across. There were multiple documents attached to each life event instead of multiple events attached to one document! (Or my favorite, no documents and just a link to someone else’s undocumented tree.)

Georgiana (1870-1952), Elise (1873-1957), Jessie (1868-1963) and Zelia (1865-1938) Carrier are sisters to my great grandfather Joseph Camille Carrier.

I was so grateful to have access to a couple of new photographs and record details for this family that I decided to leave a message for contributor Cgl933:

Just wanted to thank you for the beautiful photos you have posted of my Carrier ancestors. I am the great granddaughter of Joseph Camille Carrier through his daughter Emelia. I do not have a tree on Ancestry since mine is on FamilySearch, but I use both sites as well as parish microfilm to research the lines. Thank you for your good work. Made my day!

Kari Lynne Gillis Roueche
Kingsport, TN

The next day, I received this in response:

How would you like me to mail you the originals? My Father was given those photos from a relative in the Carrier family. I have been waiting for a family member to contact me that will take special care of these photos. Let me know if you are interested. My grandmother was good friends with Jessie Carrier.

How would I like to have the photos sent to me? Didn’t have to think about that for very long. I sent her my e-mail address, my compliments for her fine work, and my gratitude for her generosity, along with a promise that I would take special care of the photos.

Carol explained that a great uncle of hers, Napoleon Bérubé, had married one of the Carrier sisters, Clarisse. We aren’t related, but we are connected and promised to be pen pals. A few weeks later, a package arrived with these treasures.

berubenatalieclarissecarriernapoleon22jul1882Clarisse Carrier (1882-1928) and Napoleon Bérubé (1878–1938), married in 1899.

berubenapoleonclarissecarrierprovidenceriClarisse and Napoleon in Rhode Island.

carriersadieJessie “Sadie” Carrier

labriesadiecarrier1868-1963Sadie lived a long and useful life.
(She was good friend’s with Carol’s grandmother.)

Carol also included the obituary of the man who gifted the photographs to her father. So grateful to him for taking care of these items.


Robert J. Ouellette (1928-2009)
His grandmother was Jessie “Sadie” Carrier La Brie

The moral of this story is, express your appreciation to the people who are working on your lines. Whether you come across someone whose work has helped you on FindAGrave, Facebook, Ancestry, FamilySearch, Pinterest, or a blog, find a way to reach out and try to be generous with your good works, as well.

I recently posted a comment to a FindAGrave contributor who had photographed so much of a cemetery in Virginia where my maternal ancestors are buried. She replied:

RE: Virginia Cemeteries
Thank You. My 10 year old granddaughter asked me a few days ago… WHY I do this… The note you left me is Exactly Why I do this.. Just to be of some help. Thanks so much.

Be grateful and do good. In the end it is not just our ancestors who benefit, but all of us.

carrierferdinandsiphildebarilFerdinand and Selphide Baril Carrier, my great-great grandparents and parents of the sisters mentioned above.

Feature image: The tree that lead me to the generous and thorough genealogist who gave me the above photographs.

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