The struggle is real with this research project.
In September of 2016, I introduced the blogging community to Louisa Trask in this blog.
Since then I’ve reached out to numerous resources in the Salem, MA area including the historical society and local libraries.
I’m getting little details here and there.
My conclusion is that given the time is that she was just a common woman who lived and died. That’s it. Given it was 1837, there was no social media, no photography and no one living can tell her tale. It’s been a total reliance on the records, online and in the local archives.
I really have nothing that I’m ready to go public with as the story isn’t complete.
Louisa Gains Popularity and Interest
I’ve been contacted by numerous people who have found my first blog about Louisa after their own visit and experience at Louisa’s grave. Louisa also has a YouTube video from a paranormal company that visited the area and became interested in her headstone.
This is not a normal gravesite!
Interest in Louisa Has Also Brought Out the Worst in Certain Genealogists
In a perfect world, people help people. Genealogists all have similar goals for their research and social media provides us outlets to reach out to each other requesting help, seeking advice, toss ideas around, etc.
As part of my Louisa research project, I reached out to a genealogy group on Facebook and told Louisa’s story and asked for help from anyone in the Salem area who may have something, be related or can guide me where to go.
One woman jumped at the opportunity and said that she was related. GREAT! The conversation started and it quickly went south as I was asking the basic questions. Who are her parents? Where was she born? How did she die? Why do people leave her stuff at her gravesite?
Her responses were short and then turned rude. Ok, I let it go but then I pinged her a few months later….. same situation. Just unhelpful.
Fast forward to September 10th, 2018, I am preparing a trip to New England with a day trip to Salem to do some in-person research. I decided to give her one last shot at helping this situation.
I started the conversation with what I knew and I had some new info. She asked me to rehash the entire story as she “didn’t remember”. So I did, and I said it would be great if she could provide the sources for the information she had mentioned as I have yet to find any proof of what she had told me. I said “you help me, I’ll help you, I’m so close to figuring this out.”
Her response was something that she had over 2,000 emails and bla bla bla. Ok, unrelated, I am just doing research, please help as you offered to with my initial response.
Nope, totally avoided actually responding to my question. Then, I realized she blocked me.
Moral of this Chapter in Louisa’s Research
Moral of the story is that this woman did what the internet calls “trolling”. She doesn’t have any information and based on what I did learn from her on her Facebook profile before she blocked me, she’s an attention seeker. So basically, lesson learned.
However, it’s situations like this that make it hard for genealogists to want to help others. I reported her to the FB group that I met her on and explained how she is a misleading resource but will seek help herself from others. Hopefully, it’s noted and she’s at least watched for similar instances with others.