When You Think You Have Heard It All…..

1940 CENSUS brings together cousins. Roy (my step-dad) and Melda met for the first time after extensive research was done to find relatives from the past.


Recently I shared a heartwarming story about my WWII VET step-dad Roy and his celebration of his 90th birthday ( http://wp.me/p2rYD1-o8 ). Roy grew up very poor and his parents divorced while he was a boy. Roy never knew when his real dad had passed away. One day he asked me if I could find this information out because of the release of the 1940 census. I was able to give Roy his father’s death date and burial location, but the biggest surprise was that we found out he had a half-brother, and a half-sister he did not know about. When you think you have heard it all life throws you a few new curve balls! We were fortunate to contact them both. In fact a reunion is planned for them to meet. I hope they hurry. No one is getting any younger!
I had recently flown home from Montgomery, Alabama 3000 miles to Seattle after witnessing a tender-hearted visit between my step-dad Roy and his cousin Melda. She was also researching her family tree that included Roy. She decided to drive to Montgomery, Alabama for a delightful visit while I was in town. Melda and I found each other through our mutual research.

Roy and Melda discuss their family roots with photo albums as their respective spouses look on. Genealogy work has confirmed their family lines all the way back to Germany.


Melda reminded me in an email of how special this experience was for her. Upon returning home Melda spoke with her elderly mother about meeting Roy: ” I couldn’t help but stare at Roy’s striking ice blue eyes. When I mentioned it to my mother, she said my grandfather had eyes like that.”
While Melda and Roy are second cousins, Melda’s father who has passed away as well as Roy led interesting work lives in the history of Alabama. Melda’s father was a Superintendent of Education during the changing times in Alabama Public Schools serving the children in Alabama. During that same time period, Roy was working as the Director of Veteran Affairs serving our Veterans. Today I give tribute to both men in their work and their lives.

Roy meeting with Governor George Wallace while he served the Veterans of the Military.

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32 thoughts on “When You Think You Have Heard It All…..

  1. pishnguyen

    It’s such a small world — and isn’t it great when it all comes together in such a fun, fulfilling, and joyous way? I’m so happy Roy has found some of his previously unknown relatives.

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  2. Carl D'Agostino

    Are you aware that there is pension available for all WW2 vets ? This is not for career pension but for just having served. Recently found out and registered father 89 in October. He can pay me$2,100 a month as he lives with me for home care and this reduces his income (allegedly)so he should get full $1,700 per month non taxable. Millions of vets don’t know about it. He is considered disabled reaching 65 but cannot get retro only since date we filed in October. Takes 6 month to year. Need lots of documentation. See if your local VA has a service officer for help.

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      I would think Roy knows about it, but I will tell him. He was at one time the Director of Veterans Affairs for the whole state of Alabama. Where did your dad fight?

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  3. authordabneyol Dabney

    Yes very fun discovering history.Happening with our family after I wrote all I knew in my book “Dance Me Home” about my father during WWII. Now my son is into the family genealogy and has uncovered even more amazing details. Enjoyed your personal account. Thanks to our veterans.

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Thank you. I had no idea how much fun I would have researching family roots. It has been a true pleasure. It does take a lot of time I must warn you, however I was able to find almost all of my husband’s family going all the way back to the ships that they emigrated on when they came to America!

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      1. lifeofaministermom

        That’s truly incredible. Btw, I may’ve missed it but are in the Montgomery area as well? I only ask because I attented Tuskegee University and my parents recently moved to Columbus, GA, so I’m rather familiar with that area even though I’m a Cali girl thru and thru! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      2. alesiablogs Post author

        I live in Seattle, WA. We have been here 20 years. My dad was in the military and when he retired, he moved us to Montgomery, AL when I was about 12. I lived there until about 25 and then moved away. I always knew I would end up on the west coast. We lived in Hawaii for 4 years before moving to Alabama. My mom and sister still live down there so I go back once a year. It is a small world after all! Thank you for asking. I did graduate from Auburn. : )

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  4. alesiablogs Post author

    Did you go to High School in Montgomery? Was your dad also in the military? I went to Lee. The school system is in bad shape down there. It makes me very sad. The truth is the military community being transit probably never voted in favor of more money for public education as well as probably others and now the system is way past broke.

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