THE “WOW” IN FAMILY RESEARCH
By Lyle Corder

     I got interested in family research in 1989; it is hard to believe I have been doing it for twenty years. It all started when a fellow with the last name the same as mine, Corder, asked me if we were related. I had no idea.

     He said he had a notebook belonging to his deceased cousin, Oma Corder, of Doddridge County, West Virginia. Oma was the postmistress in West Union and was known by most people in the area. Following her death, he had obtained a notebook belonging to her and wondered if I could make sense of the Corder information inside. I told him I would be glad to take a look but I had very little information on my Corder family. I did have a paper on my Corder family prepared by a Mr. Grant; it was done about 1930 or so.

     I took the notebook home with me and on a quiet Sunday I dumped the contents on our kitchen table. The first item I found was a newspaper clipping about my grandfather Corder’s obituary. Now I was interested.

     It seems that Oma was trying desperately to trace her Corder family back in time as far as she could go. It was obvious she was having a difficult time with a particular generation. I spent all day Sunday reading her notes and looking at all the items she had saved over the years. Finally, late Sunday evening, it dawned on me why she was having such a problem. I HAVE BEEN HOOKED ON GENEALOGY EVER SINCE.

     Included in the notebook were several letters she had exchanged with a Corder family in England. I read all the letters with great interest. One letter contained a picture of a Henry Corder family taken in 1939. It was a golden anniversary picture taken at Alfoxden, Holford, Somerset, England.

     There were three married couples in the picture and a little girl in front named Judith Mary Corder. She looked to be about six years of age.

     In 1992 I bought a family history booklet on my Corder family. It was from an outfit located in Ohio. It was one of those phony books that really doesn’t tell you much about a family; they are just in it for the money. I knew what I was getting; I was desperate for any information about my family. At the end of the book was a list of Corders located around the world. It included mailing addresses.

     I wrote to several Corders in other countries and surprisingly received several replies. I sent a letter to a Judith Corder in Somerset, England. Keep in mind, fifty-three years had passed since the anniversary picture was taken in 1939. Judith Corder replied and she was the little girl in the picture. Obviously, she had never married. She was very nice and told me a great deal about her family and everybody in the picture. I have no idea if I am related to this family, but, that doesn’t really matter. It was a WOW moment for me.

     Over the years I have done a lot of research for other people. When they write back and say WOW, it really makes my day and reminds me what family research is all about. I hope all our members enjoy many WOW moments.


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