Have you ever tried to research your family tree? One good hit is all it takes and your day is gone. I had no intention of falling down this rabbit hole today and yet…that is exactly what I did.
It all started with an attempted search. I sent my aunt the information I had and she sent me what she had. My cousin had given her the information years and years ago. I don’t think any of them paid attention to the dates. I remember my grandmother saying that there were rumors that her first born did not belong to my grandfather which was hogwash if you had ever seen my uncle. She never elaborated and I never thought about much until today.
My grandfather was married to a woman before my grandmother and apparently during…My grandfather had polio as a child and had a leg that never fully formed or grew? His first wife would never agree to children because she didn’t want to birth crippled children. I found the court papers that released them from the marriage in the paperwork I received this week. The date was April 1944 and six days later my grandparents were married. My uncle, the first born, was born in December of 1943…which explains the rumors. I mentioned it to my aunt today and she said “what? I never looked closely at the dates?” She was just as surprised as I was.
This is what started it, I put Fannie into Google search and hoped for the best. I never found Fannie…I don’t even know her maiden name but I did find a huge surname database featuring lots of matches for me on my grandfather’s side. I even found a match on my grandmother’s side and we emailed back and forth all day. The lingo is new since I really researched last, especially when it comes to the DNA matches and chromosomes x and y. The nice lady I found on my maternal side thinks we share more than one set of grandparents…which is possible with such a small community. We had a match on chromosomes 3,11,15,and 21 all of which means nothing to me. I only know we are related. Hopefully we will be able to share some information and even better….maybe get through some blocks.
I talked to my aunt today and every single time we talk, I learn so much. Tonight I learned my mom’s first job was as a waitress at a place called Dogs and Suds and she wore roller skates! I didn’t even know she could roller skate?? I remember taking classes at the local roller rink when I was in first or second grade. I never remember her putting on skates.
For me one of the biggest mysteries is the height of my uncles. My Grandfather’s father wasn’t very tall? My grandmother wasn’t tall at all? Out of seven uncles only one of them is under 6ft and one of them was 7ft tall the rest fall in the middle. They always seemed like giants when I was little but I didn’t realize how tall they really are or were…depending on the uncle. Only one aunt has brown hair ( and that might be from hair color in a box) everyone else has shiny raven black hair…straight as a pin.
My aunt and I talked for about an hour and a half today. Mostly I ask questions and listen. I’m not sure what made me ask today but I posed the question and yes…she hears things too and sometimes she sees them. Sometimes I felt mom would know things but she never talked about it. Just listening to my aunt talk the last few weeks made me ask her. She’s not sure what side of the family it comes from but we both seem to have it and so does the Girl. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if I grew up thinking I could do anything instead of always being told “you can’t do that” “you can’t be that” “you aren’t supposed to feel like that” “don’t say that” but I guess that’s part of what made me who I am today….Zia