We have a ‘new’ cousin – her name is Diane - and here is her story.

Online searching has became a boon - and began around 1999.  I began this eternal search somewhere around 2009 when I clicked on Findagrave, just curious about the unique name.  While doing research in the ancestry world, there are forums and message boards that you can enter enough information that will attract other family members and often they share what they know and can prove.  Family papers, privately held, are very high on the list of credible sources. Usually it's a very distant cousin who can fill in blanks for pioneer era ancestors.  

So on multiple message boards I posted that I was researching the Case family and added all the surnamed involved.  Weeks go by and just when I almost forgot that I'd done that, here's this person from New Zealand responding by direct email to one of my posts on an ancestry message board.  She claimed she was on the search for her half-brother, said Case was a family name.  I smile now as I recall how cautious we both were in our sharing of information - for weeks this went on -  little here, little there, both of us doing some pondering and proving.  Finally I had enough certainty to take it to The Blessings.  Aunt Iris and Aunt Carol both had vague memories and put me in touch with Claud's neice Ruth, who they stay in touch with.  Ruth was cautiously excited and told me details about Diane's childhood and circumstances from her view.  She was sad that they had lost their connection and immediately wanted to re-connect.  

Turns out Diane was born in Akron Ohio a few months before me.  She is the granddaughter of Earnest Case, my grandfather’s Claud’s oldest brother.  Her father Carl and her mother Joan met and during WWII, in Fiji.  Carl and Joan then moved to the US, where Diane was born.  After 5 years they divorced and Joan took Diane to her homeland in Fiji and then New Zealand to raise. Carl Case is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Diane has letters from Helen, Mildred and pics of herself as a baby - with family.  As a child, each year she was taken to photographers and photos were sent back to Ohio.  She told me that her dad wanted her middle name to be someone in his side of the family - and coincidentally, her name is Diane CAROL!  How cool is that? According to Aunt Carol's memory, they visited with Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Earnest, Carl, Helen and Ruth when she was about 9-10.  Carl, Diane's father, was 14 years older than her.  This visit was apparently just before he enlisted in the Navy.  And before he met and married Diane's mother.  She remembers West Virginia visits to a big old farmhouse with nice people.  I first thought perhaps it would have been the Charles Butler family, but it also could have been Claud Case family in Duck Creek at the Smith House.

Charles Butler Case house, Duck, Braxton Co.
Claud Case in the Smith House, now
Watters-Smith State Park, Duck Creek,
Harrison County.  It's where I lived from birth
to age 3.