Welcome to Corel Cousins!

Welcome to Corel Cousins, the website and the blog. The website was officially ‘born’ on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, the blog on Friday, February 23, 2007. For my first blog entry, I would like to give you some background on me, the idea to create a website, and what has led me to search for my ancestors.

My name is Paula. I grew up in the material world of the 1980s and have never accepted that the 1980s have ended! It is very sad, but I do miss the big hair. Not the blue eyeshadow, tho! I will likely never recover from the changes incurred in the music world once Nirvana and Kurt Cobain took over the scene. Music (especially from the ’80s) is one of my bigger obsessions!

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and currently work as a Business Manager. Prior to getting this job, I had never heard of a Business Manager position before, it turns out that I am basically a Girl Friday. I do everything for the business, except the technical work that makes the business money.

Prior to this job, I played around a bit with HTML and creating some of the free websites. Since working here, I have created and maintained (including a major overhaul) the company website. I have grown quite comfortable working with two of the most common web building applications, FrontPage by Microsoft and DreamWeaver by Macromedia. Personally, I love working with both programs. Both have distinct characteristics in what they will and will not allow the user to accomplish. I do most programming in DreamWeaver and my touch-ups and cleaning in FrontPage.

I am married to a wonderful man who’s ‘redneck’ ways fit in well with my family! Rick is the father of a teenaged boy, and any of you who has ever been a teen knows, I’m sure, just how fun that can be for a parent!! I do not have any children, but I am a very proud Auntie! I have a younger sister, Michelle (she is very NON redneck!), who has the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen. Abby is my entire world. No matter how bad a day has been, seeing her smile when I walk in makes everything better!

I first became curious about my heritage while still in high school. One of my best friends was learning about her ancestors, so, of course, I had to, also. My Mom did not know much about our ancestry, so she referred me to her grandmother, Kathryn Corel Hahn-Henson. I still remember the day we had gone to Grandmama’s (we called her Grandmama to keep her separate from her daughter, our Grandma). We were sitting out on the front porch and Grandmama was in the porch swing. She had given us an envelope from someone claiming to be our cousin who lived in California! For those of you who may not yet know, this mysterious Californian was none other than Bobby Title. Mom and Bobby wrote back and forth several times. Bobby provided us with a great deal of information that helped us to get started. Eventually Mom (Connie Bishop) and Bobby decided that we needed to have a family reunion. It was decided that it would be in August 1990 and in Lawrence, Kansas, near the area where the Corel family had settled in 1854. Being a teenager, I was very easily distracted, and my curiosity had motivated Mom to doing quite a bit of research. Once the computer era struck, she would read and I would type. At that time, I never thought my mother would ever learn how to do anything on the computer! A few months before the first reunion was to happen, Grandmama died. She never got to meet all of the new family we had found.

I was hit rather hard by Grandmama’s passing. Except to be Mom’s typist, I was no longer interested in genealogy. Mom continued her research for a few years and continued to plan the family reunions every five years. After many brick walls and finally having an empty nest, Mom set her research aside to pick it back up when she ’slowed down’ again.

Then, in 2005, my dad passed away from cancer. I was devastated. One day, I started asking Mom about Dad’s family. Dad was from Michigan and we hadn’t seen his family since I was 3. She encouraged me to email Dad’s sister to ask some basic questions and get their grandparents’ names.

This is how I got back to genealogy. Before long, I was looking back at the Corels. I emailed Bobby to clear up some questions I had about my understanding of our ancestors. Bobby was very kind in catching me up and emailing scans of documents and family stories that she had gathered. Most, if not all, of the info Bobby shared with me will end up on the website.

Once I had felt more comfortable with what I was doing, I posted a horrible GEDCOM file that had too many errors. The worst part was that I had gone through and ‘cleaned’ the file before I posted it to RootsWeb! Every once in awhile I would get an email about something from the GEDCOM, but mostly it was questions that I had no answers for. Then one day, I received an email asking about one of the Corel descendants and how I might know or be related to this person, because she was a daughter of the descendant. I was so very excited and shared as much as I knew about her line. I later sent her a copy of a report of all of William and Rebecca’s descendants. She was shocked and thrilled to find that she and her siblings were located in the 900s. A few days after I received that email, I received another email from another Corel descendant. She had been researching for about 20 years, and happened to see her mother’s name in my GEDCOM. She had a great deal about her line, but she was not aware of the family reunions and that she had so much family living less than 30 miles away!

Before receiving the emails, I was playing around with ideas of starting a website with some of the research I have collected. But I just wasn’t sure of how I wanted to act on the thoughts. After the joy I felt at being able to offer so much information to two people, I knew I had to do something! I did some checking on some different web addresses. Originally I was going to put the lines I had found for my family, my husband’s family, and my brother-in-law’s family. I simply wanted to help the world! That was beyond overwhelming! Then I remembered that we had once played with one of those free websites for the Corel family reunion. So I tried a few more website names to see if I could get a good name for a Corel website. I also emailed Bobby. She has been such a mentor for me, even answering general genealogy questions that I had on other lines I was researching. Once I read her response, I knew that I had to do this!

OK, you may find that I do tend to go on and on at times, but most likely I will not write nearly this much again! Please post comments, ask questions, give me ideas, point out mistakes, or even just say HI!