Just for fun, I bid and won a family genealogy project with Jody Clark Jones. I left the gift certificate in my drawer for a few weeks.
Upon hearing about this offer, my brother (our family’s historian) encouraged me to have Jody help unravel a mystery in our family: “What happened to our great uncle Camillo after he immigrated to the US from Italy?” Details of his whereabouts were unknown.
Working with limited information from us, Jody uncovered a startling piece of news. She then delicately asked if we wanted to know details even if they may be painful. We said yes and she showed us an old newspaper headline that said “Lonely and Despondent, Immigrant Takes His Own Life”. Camillo had been committed to an asylum for depression and mental illness.
While the news was sad and surprising, we were able to find out that Camillo was buried in a pauper’s grave in a town north of Boston. My brother and his wife held a memorial service for Camillo at their church. It was a beautiful tribute to a lonely young man who died alone, far from his home and family.
We are very grateful to Jody for bringing us closure to this chapter of our family history and we would like to think that Camillo is resting more peacefully as a result.
My wife gave me DNA kit for Christmas. When the results came, I was very surprised as I learned that I had roots in “Wales, Scotland, or Ireland”. I had never heard that from any of my relatives and I could trace my family history back to the late 1700s. I had always heard my ancestors hailed from England and Quebec.
When I contacted Jody, I asked if she would do some digging for me and see if what Ancestry.com said was true. Working backwards from my family tree as I knew it to be, Jody found all sorts of historical documents that showed my family actually emigrated from a small village in Ireland, then to Canada, then to the States. I was amazed that she could pinpoint the exact town from which they came.
If you want as complete a picture of your genealogy as possible, I heartily recommend you hire Jody Clark Jones. It’s like having your own private detective to search your family history.
I have engaged Jody Jones on two separate genealogical projects.
The first was my application for The Holland Society of New York. I had wanted to join for several years but was unable to verify much of the family history that had been passed down, or that I had found on line. The task was beyond my abilities. I hired Jody to research, write and submit my application and she did an excellent job. I was accepted, and the Holland Society of New York said that it was one of the most impressive applications that they had ever received.
The second project documented my maternal grandmother’s family lines. This was the one part of our family that we knew little about. Again, she did an excellent job. I can safely say that we now know more about this branch of the family than any other.
I can recommend Jody Jones without reservation. She very easy to work with and has a unique gift for finding information that goes well beyond just names and dates. I wanted to “know” my ancestors and she was able to add that dimension to our family history.
"Long Lost Family". . . I LOVE that television series. Never thought I would be involved with any situation similar to those depicted. But then came Hilda [named changed for privacy], an acquaintance from church. Old beyond her years (70), eccentric and sometimes crotchety, stubborn and yet, below the surface, a very fine person.
She was the child of an American G.I. and a Hungarian woman, conceived just after the horrors of WW II in a German refugee camp. Five years were spent in that situation before the child, with her mother, aunt, and grandmother sailed for the U.S. on a ship for Displaced Persons. Hilda saw her father once a year, briefly, until her mother died when she was eleven. She knew the man's name, believed he was legally married to a woman from Maine and that he went on to father two children after Hilda's birth. The grandmother died when Hilda was in her late teens and the aunt passed when Hilda was in her twenties. For all intents and purposes this lady is now all alone in the world.
I spoke to Jody about this very sad situation hoping for any information that might bring some comfort, some closure to Hilda who always wondered, "what might be out there?" She didn't even dream of making any contact with siblings . . . but I did! To make a long story short, within days . . . really, within days . . . I began receiving from Jody vital statistics, newspaper clippings, even photographs! Jody was as excited as I was, optimistic, enthused, thorough, and determined to bring about the happy ending. I might even say 'lovingly involved' as that was how close she seemed to be throughout this investigation and beyond.
Yes, we did find the names of the two siblings, half sisters, and the contact information for one of them. When we, my wife and I, connected with and told this woman what we had learned through Jody, she was positively ecstatic! She always wanted to find Hilda, knew of her, but had no last name to pursue. We arranged to have Hilda meet her sister by phone the next day . . . Thanksgiving Day! How perfect! The call went extremely well and we subsequently followed up with a dinner at my home with these sisters and their aunt. Hilda has an aunt!! – a woman who could not have been happier to meet her and openly share what she knew of her brother and his relationship with Hilda's mother.
Hilda is a very devout, very traditional Catholic. I'm sure it always bothered her that she was conceived out of wedlock. I mentioned that Jody was thorough? One of the newspaper clippings she discovered was the engagement announcement of Hilda's father and his American fiancée, dated a few years AFTER Hilda's birth. Upon discussing this with Hilda's aunt, we learned that the father wrote home to the U.S. to his parents that he had married Hilda's mother in a Catholic ceremony in Germany at the end of the war. THIS was the "comfort . . . closure" she needed.