Hi Cousins! I'd love to introduce you to cousin Matt.
He was nice enough to be my first victim volunteer
to answer some questions so the world could get to know him a little
better. Without further ado, meet Matt:
Me:You're 15. When did you
first get into researching your family history and what sparked your
Matt: As far as I can remember,
I've always been into family history. My earliest memory of it
though is talking to my paternal grandfather about his maternal
grandfather, Lee Ward Lindow. I wouldn't ask him questions, I
would overhear things and write them down on random sheets of paper I
had and I put them all in a black binder. Even now I refer to
that black binder and every time I look in there I see something I
wrote down as a five year old which puts my puzzle pieces together
Me:You have some big goals for
your future! Tell us about some of them.
Matt: Well, after high school, I'd
like to go Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, majoring in Law
and Theology, and minoring in Political Science. I'd love to
move to Kitty Hawk, NC and start my own law firm and my own church,
and a genealogy firm on the side. I'd love to coordinate a
family reunion from the descendants of my maternal great-grandfather
Me:Share with us an interesting
story you've discovered about one of your ancestors.
Matt: My paternal great-great
grandfather who I mentioned before was Lee W. Lindow. His
grandfather was a veteran of the United States Civil War named
Frederick J. Lindow. Frederick settled in North Collins, New
York and built a lumber mill industry that was worth millions of
dollars - in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Later after Fred's
death, Lee's uncle Raymond inherited the lumber mill but sold it
before his death in 1969. When he passed away, he must have
given Lee's sister Florence some of the money because when she died,
also in the 1960s, she left a huge donation worth millions to a local
Me:Do you have a favorite
ancestor? Who? Why?
Matt: My absolute favorite ancestor
would have to be Charles W. Goodier, Sr., my maternal great
grandfather. He passed away in November of 2013 after a battle
of Alzheimer's, so I never really got a chance to talk with him. But
after his death I learned about what an amazing life he had. He
served our country in the Air Force and in the process met the Queen
Mother and married a model from Ohio, my great grandma Rita, who
passed in 1976. After his service, he became Mayor of Blasdell,
New York, a small 1,000 person village outside of Buffalo and served
one term, but he stayed very active in Village politics. He has
currently as of August 2014 157 descendants.
John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
Me: If you could be related to
anyone in history, who would you want it to be and why?
Matt: If I could be related to anyone
in history, I would want to be related to John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
My reasoning for this is because he was a self made man who
founded a dynasty of brilliant minded men who went on to become
elected Government officials all over the country. John Sr.
lived my dream life!!!
Me:What are your thoughts about
the Global Family Reunion? Will you be attending?
Matt: I think AJ Jacobs is brilliant
by coming up with this idea for a Global Family Reunion. I
think everyone is related, and if I had my way, the entire population
of Earth would there!!! I will not be able to attend, BUT I plan on
watching it live on your "Live Stream" option.
Me: Do you come from a big
family? Small family? Do you guys have family reunions
and do you have any good family reunion stories?
Matt: My paternal family is very
small, and it's like a reunion every holiday!!! There's usually 7 of
us. My paternal grandpa has many first cousins but he never really
got the chance to actually meet them. I have contacted one of
them and according to her information, there are a lot more of my
paternal family out there than I thought there was!!! On the other
hand, my maternal family is gigantic. My grandma has 47 first
cousins, my mom has 39, and I have 25. The numbers of first
cousins are high like that all the way back until the 1600's!!! Most
of those cousins had 1-10 kids. That means there's a lot of
relatives out there!!! Now, the descendants of my maternal
great-great grandparents had one family reunion in Cincinnati but I
did not go. Even if I did, I would have been too young to
Me: Where have you found your
ancestors come from? Would you want to visit the lands they
On both sides of my family, my great grandpas' families come from
England and my great grandmas' families come from Germany. On
my maternal side, in Sale, England, there is a road called Goodier
Street after my great-great grandfather, Joseph Goodier, and I'd love
to go there and see it!!!
Me:What sort of activities do you
participate in at your school?
Matt: In school I stick to more
academic extra curricular activities. I'm the Vice President of
the Class of 2017 and I am involved in numerous history related
activities. I'm looking I join the golf team this year...
Me:Favorite color? Favorite food?
Left-handed or right-handed? Do you like to have breakfast for
dinner? Favorite book? Movie? TV show? Song/band?
Matt: I've always liked the color
blue, it's like the only color I ever wear!!! I'm right handed
and I never really got into TV. I'm one of those kids that read
an encyclopedia and if I do watch TV I watch the History Channel or
C-SPAN. I really like classical orchestra / piano music. I'm
a pianist myself!
Me:Do you have any funny quirks
that you've inherited from your family?
Matt: Everyone in my family has
a certain laugh. It's really hard to explain but it's on my
dad's side. It follows us everywhere!!!
Me:If you could share one message
with your 7 billion cousins what would it be?
message to my 7 billion cousins would be that Adam and Eve started us
out and that we should take time to get to know people better
starting with the family that we know, such as first cousins or your
siblings. Treat everyone with severe kindness, because you
don't want your family to have a bad opinion of you! Always stay
AJ and Matt connect through Henry Cook,
Matt's 12 great grandfather and one of the first settlers of
(If you would like to be featured in an "I Am A Cousin" post please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!)