I've known that it's important to talk to all the relatives and that point was driven home last weekend. Mom and Dad where in town for a visit and we went next door to Barb and Neal's for breakfast. As we sat around visiting I threw out couple of questions about the Marxer/Johnson family that had been on my mind. The result was lots of new information and talk of cousin Nayna doing some family history research.
I was amazed at how much Dad and Neal remembered. They never say a word, but there is a wealth of information in there, if you can pry it loose.
I came home and shot an email off to Nayna and let her know what I was up to and asked her to share anything she might have found in her searching. A few days later I got an envelope in the mail with a pedigree chart for the Johnson line. I was shocked to see that it went back 7 generations and contained birth dates and placed and marriages for some of the ancestors. Not all of the information that we had in common matched up perfectly, but that is the norm rather than the exception. So I'll use the clues in the pedigree to find primary sources where I can. But how cool that a casual chat over coffee could yield so much new information?