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So… The Legal Genealogist‘s perfect string of daily posts meets up with internet connectivity issues in beautiful downtown Rising Sun, Indiana.

Martha Louise (Shew) Livingston and Abigah Livingston, c1900

Yesterday I headed here, about 50 minutes or so west of Cincinnati, host of the 2012 National Genealogical Society conference, to meet cousins I’d never met before. Even in yesterday’s rain, the drive along the banks of the mighty Ohio River was breathtaking.

The cousin I was most anxious to meet is Thelma Livingston Dibble, who’ll be 93 at her next birthday — and my grandmother’s first cousin. She’s the youngest child of the next to the youngest child of Martha Louise (Shew) Livingston; my grandmother was the oldest child of Martha Louise’s oldest child (by a different father). As is common in big families, my grandmother as the much older cousin was married and a mother twice over herself before Thelma was even born.

Thelma’s aunt, my great grandmother, didn’t exactly approve of my grandfather (I’ve heard tell that the phrase “that riffraff isn’t near good enough for my daughter” was often employed) so my grandparents moved away from Oklahoma. Thelma’s family stayed there, and Thelma knew my great grandmother well. She has stories and pictures to share that I’ve never before heard or seen.

I’m dying to share as much of this joyous get-together as I can but at the moment I’m discovering the limitations of small town historic hotels… and wifi that doesn’t quite make it to the riverside rooms.

But even if I have to type one letter at a time into a cellphone, I couldn’t NOT say what a joy yesterday was. I was welcomed not just by Thelma but by both her daughters, my cousins Sherry (and husband Ron) and Angela (and husband John), two granddaughters Lori and Lisa, and three great grandchildren Maxwell and Christopher and Ashley. They all shared their Mother’s Day with this distant relation, and I will treasure the memory.

Seeing so many of my grandmother’s features stamped on these cousins’ faces is something I particularly cherish… We lost her in 1995, and I feel as though something of her was given back to me here in this small riverside town.

Stay tuned for more of my Indiana adventure as my cellphone typing finger allows…

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