I signed up awhile back to be on the yahoo talk group: OCGSNY, Orange County (NY) Genealogical Society. There have been no shortage of emails flying through my in box for several months from people posting there. Just when I think I should unsubscribe because I don't EVER see any info that looks applicable to my family history, here comes a posting from somebody with the surname SLOAT. Hmmm, just a month ago in SLC, I found a marriage record for Mary Ann Gillespie to Henry P. Sloat in Oakland Co, MI in 1838.
So I wrote to Mr. Sloat and he has lots of history about his Sloat family but nothing new about Gillespie. Sigh. But in the mean time, the message board has picked up with a lively discussion about why residents of Orange County migrated in some numbers to Michigan! It was fun to join the discussion and share what I've learned in my recent reseach studies: a) the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 made travel to MI much easier and b) MI was having an all out land sale in order to populate the territory and become a state (MI became 26th state in 1837).
In the course of sharing that info, I threw out the surnames of other Orange County residents with connections in Oakland, MI: McKinney, Beattie, McClung, Rainey, and of course, Gillespie and Greer. Now there is discussion going on about McKinney. All very fun. Who knows - maybe it will lead to somebody stumbling upon our Gillespie/Greers!