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Birth Mother: McGunn
Birth Father: Williamson
Adoptive parents - Cook
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Family periodical and web site launch!

Febuary 12, 2003

Dear Family,

It's a beautiful rainy day here in Southern California. We don't get many of these, so it's a welcomed change. I actually miss experiencing different seasons, although I don't remember the extreme weather when I was three living in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Growing up in Silver City New Mexico we had seasons more pronounced than Los Angeles, though mild still. I think mild, or even sharp contrast change is good. Sometimes mother nature can be fierce, even deadly but succumbing to fear is not the best solution. I admire the explorers, the storm watchers the crew of the Columbia. I pray and claim the same courage, wisdom and fearless attitude for the rest of my days.

Thank god I am changing! Not that I have a problem with any of my past, except that time when I hurt a loved one, but I am on a journey and learning along the way. Certainly I will continue to face change as we all do. I call on the strength, courage and wisdom of all of our ancestors to show me the way in the face of adversity.

It is interesting to be thirty five. I remember my mom Judy in her fifty's saying, "I don't feel any different! Mentally I am very youthful" (you look great too mom). I still feel like I am at the beginning, but the past few years I have started to understand myself better than ever before. As I begin to find clarity, I realize that I have been beaten over the head repeatedly with who I am and what I am here for. Thank god! That's what I needed, because I have a hard head.

I was blessed with a natural interest in family and heritage that was cultivated by my father Phillip Cook. He was a history professor for Western New Mexico University and used to pile the whole family in the car every summer to drive all over the country. I think we have driven through every state visiting and spending fun times with relatives. Those were the best times we had together! He is with us in spirit now and I love him for gifting me with so much, especially that perspective.

My brother Eli Vincent, introduced me to Grandpa Williamson on my birth fathers side about six years ago. We traveled to Chanute, Kansas together and I was blessed with the ability to spend time with him. I visited once more with my sister Lisa and niece's Keisa and Charmaine. He told us everything! Every story he could remember was shared and I video taped the stories! Then he took me to see the hundreds of acres of land in Eufala Oklahoma that my grandfather Wanza Gregory purchased for the family shortly after being released from slavery. That land is still owned by the family. We met many relatives along the way and they told me stories too. I have over forty hours of family history on video.
Last year my grandfather Roy Williamson passed away, but the memories are captured forever and will be edited to make a documentary, or a series of family documentaries. My grandfather is with us in spirit, but I realize that information was in jeopardy of being lost forever. Thank god for blessing me with the responsibility to preserve it and showing me the way to follow through.

I have long wondered, "am I on the right track, or was I supposed to be somewhere else, with someone else, doing something different?" The challenges life presented me sometimes seem daunting and so consistent that I often felt out of place, so I struggled to find balance, yet unsure of how to achieve it.

Finally, I understand! My reason for being is to preserve family history and establish close relationships with family and friends. Ironically, I feel very distant from most family on every side. There is no one to blame but myself, but learning to establish and maintain relationships has been part of my challenge. I have realized that my generation is responsible for changing that distance, or loosing certain parts of our heritage forever. That would be a shame. I have a unique perspective of what it means to loose ones heritage.

Hopefully this does not come across as over zealous, or pressure for participation from anyone who is not interested. I do not want that. My calling is to identify a core of peole that wants to influence the growth of family. I have already communicated with some who expressed the same interest in family, which is encouraging because to accomplish my life's mission I need help.

I am asking for family unity on a new level from all five corners of my family. That includes all four parents and the foster family that cared for me so well until I was ten months old. (of course I have to find them first which may be a challenge). My mom Arlene says "we are supposed to get better from generation to generation", and I think it is important for us to learn the lessons our history has taught repeatedly so our children can learn different lessons. Otherwise we are stealing generations of time and wisdom from our own progress.

I appreciate those I have heard from who desire such growth. Cousin Julie traveled here and introduced herself a few years ago while trekking across the country searching self. Cousin Harry visited while in Orange county for a bagpipe event that he played in. Cousin Lorelle Williams, who I never met stumbled upon my web site while doing genealogy research and introduced herself. That inspired me to refine on the web page reaching out to the McGunn family. It worked! My cousin Edward McGunn found the web site and introduced himself. That inspired me to create on online system dedicated to meeting and establishing relationships with every name in our history. If you think about it, that is a huge project and it is just beginning.

I love you all and am truly interested in getting to know you better. I know that life often gets in the way, but my purpose is to cultivate family closeness and love that we can develop for a lifetime and be proud to leave our children. There is no end to my gratitude toward anyone who helps me fulfill that purpose.

There are many ways to help! I appreciate you forwarding this to anyone that might be interested.

If you want to send personal responses that you prefer to keep private, please let me know so I don't offend anyone by posting something that was meant to be private.



This project is designed to make contact with every relative possible through geneology research. As you contact me, I will build web sites of communication with your branch of the family. Click here for an example of current heraldry research for McGunn.

Free family crests and free family coat of arms are interesting to me. I am currently doing geneology research. Our family migrated from the county of Cork in Ireland arriving in Michigan because of the potato famine in 1840. We shortened our name from MacElgunn to McGunn once in America. Schnepp is one surname including many more that will be listed soon.

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