Reunion helpers deserve praise

Saturday, June 14
I have been researching my family history for 20 years, and knew that my mother-in-law had a first cousin in Pittsfield with a large family. But no one knew of their whereabouts.

Sitting at my computer in New Jersey, I contacted Pittsfield High School hoping that this cousin's children may have graduated from there in the 1940s. Sure enough they did! I did not know the whereabouts of any of the descendants of my mother-in-law's cousin. But the school secretary's efficiency combined with the kindness of Bonnie Smith from the superintendent of schools' office allowed me to get in touch with the 1941 class reunion chairperson, Florence Farris.

Florence did not have the contact information for her classmate, but she suggested I contact a man named Max Bookless knowing his sister in Florida kept up with her. I called Max and he eagerly gave me the telephone number of both his sister and also a friend who is the sister-in-law of the eldest of the cousins living in Arizona.

I called Max's friend, the only cousin still living in Pittsfield, and she connected me with her cousin in Arizona. I learned that they have been seeking family tree information for many years for a health study that is being conducted at Harvard University. I was able to speak with Harvard officials and gave them a complete family tree to work with.

Hats off to all involved in this family reunion!

South Orange, N.J.


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