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Dedication to Ralph Emerson Barlow      1922 - 1995


by Susan BARLOW Holmes

Though I never met Ralph Barlow, I feel like I knew him well.

When I began my search for my Barlow family, I found information in the LDS family records for what I later learned to be my family. At the time, I had no idea they were my family, nor that you could get information about the contributor of that information. In 1997, I did learn that, and found Ralph's name and address as the contributor. By then, I knew they were my family, and so I immediately called Bay City Texas for telephone listings of Barlow's. Only two were listed, and neither was Ralph.  But what the heck, I thought I'd try one. I reached his sister, Inez on the first try. She informed me that Ralph had passed away in 1995.

Inez and I wrote occasionally, but she did not share the same love of genealogy that Ralph had. By now, I had seen a few items in my research that Ralph had contributed, and had heard his name mentioned among other researchers of the Barlow surname, and knew that he had the same passion for genealogy that I had come to have.

Lora Beth Barlow Wright and I went to Bay City to meet Inez in 1997.   Inez had told me that Ralph had lived with her prior to his death, and that she had his boxes of research in her home. We had a great time digging thru those papers, and made copies of many of them. About a year later, Inez told me that I could have those boxes of research......and boy, I was excited.
Lora Beth lived in Houston, and so she went to Bay City and got three boxes of research, and mailed them to me.   Among those boxes was the research he had done for several surnames, including of course, Barlow.   He, like myself, collected every tidbit he could find about any Barlow, anywhere in the world. At first I didn't know what to do with all of it, I was really happy to have it, but at the same time, I had most of my own family now, with the finding of my wonderful cousin, Lorabeth, and her book, Barlow Kinfolk, and really didn't have a need for all these other families. But I'm a pack rat, who doesn't throw anything away. So I filled up a chest of drawers with those papers.

In February of 1998, I got a computer. My first thought was to build a website and share all the surnames that Ralph and I together had collected. But not knowing how to build a website, I transcribed lots of the families, and sent them to Rootsweb surname mailing lists so that others might gain use from it.   In May, I began the challenge of building a website, with the aid of my son, Jesse, and since that time, I eat, breathe, sleep, and and drink ...... Barlow Genealogy.  As it turned out, so much of our information was repetative, but it did cause folks to begin sharing their Barlow families. 

I had often thought that the website should contain more information about, and perhaps a dedication to Ralph, but wasn't sure if it would be proper, as I knew he had two children born to himself and his wife, Loretta Jahn, but had no idea where they lived, or what their feelings toward Ralph and genealogy had been. Inez had told me that they showed no interest in genealogy, nor in their fathers research.

The Barlow Genealogy website has caused many cousins and branches of my own family to contact me to share their branches of the family. And surprise of all surprises came a few days ago, when on April 02, 2000, Bretta Barlow Green contacted me, and was much excited to find we shared two family surnames in common, Barlow, and Burkett ..... though she had no clue if they were related. When she told me her families names, I was excited, as I immediately knew that she was the daughter of Ralph Emerson Barlow!  She was grown, and was now finding an interest in genealogy.   And so......the dedication is finally able to be done.   She tells me that her father would be extremely proud if he could see the website. I think he has, and that he is smiling down from Heaven even as I write this. I think that the reason those papers were given to me instead of having been either trashed, or given to one of his children, is that it was Ralph's wish to have someone carry on his work until his children were old enough to appreciate the value of family.  And so, a new branch of the Barlow Genealogy is born..

To Ralph, I thank you for sending me to Inez, and for sharing the Barlow families with the world. I know that if you were living, you would still be in the libraries and archives, and going to visit all the kinfolk you could find.

It is with much love that I dedicate Barlow Genealogy in your memory. 
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