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One last day on the road. The 2014 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy wrapped up yesterday and The Legal Genealogist is spending a day in the Mecca of Genealogy: the Family History Library.

But it’s Saturday. It’s time for MY family. So…

The term of the day:


Defined by the dictionaries as “a daughter of one’s brother, sister, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.”1

And defined in this case as “a daughter of my heart.”

She came into our family’s life on a January 19th some years ago,2 curled her tiny fingers around our hearts and has never, not for an instant, let go.

She is my oldest niece, daughter of my oldest brother, and a treasure beyond words.

Gina was an adorable baby. One of those smiling, giggling babies that you want to hug and hug and never let go.

She grew into an adorable child. Tall, leggy, bouncy, a girl’s girl. A swimmer. A cheerleader.

She became an amazing adult. An audiologist who travels to Third World countries to share her knowledge and skill with those who would not hear but for her efforts.

Two years ago she became a wife, and brought David into our lives to broaden our horizons and enrich our family.

And last year she became a mother. Martin is the cutest thing we’ve ever seen, and may cause an earlier-than-planned retirement for my brother, who decided he wanted to take Martin fishing about an hour after the little guy was born.3

It’s said that children and grandchildren are our links to the future… our real opportunity for immortality.

For those of us who don’t have children of our own, it’s often the children we are loaned by our brothers and sisters to whom we feel that special connection.

And I have been so very fortunate in the many nieces and nephews my brothers and sisters have loaned to me.

Happy birthday, Gina.


  1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014), “niece.”
  2. I probably wouldn’t be forgiven if I said how exactly when.
  3. We did suggest he might want to wait until Martin can walk.
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