Category Archives: FAmily History

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.

Genealogy on Tour: A Unique Perspective

As a military brat in the ARMY,  I never lived near my extended family for very long. It came with the territory when I was born. Dad was a Command Sargent Major and where ever the government said for him to go we went. When he retired though it was indeed a sad affair for myself.  I remember leaving Hawaii and looking out the back window of our VW waving goodbye to my best friends Ricky and Sandy.  They waved back looking just as sad as my sister and I.  Perhaps it was in this lifestyle of moving alot, I learned a different perspective of life.

Introspection was indeed another matter.  I had never been one to reexamine myself inwardly as much.  I seemed to define myself through my parents as a child growing up which I believe is natural.  However,  when I thought about how my parents defined themselves things became abit more dicey.  For example, my mother is German/Swiss, but she had no idea past her grandmother of her family heritage.  My Dad’s family roots were abit more defined but with many loopholes in his Irish/English heritage.  My husband’s dad and mom both seemed like they knew very little details also.  So in steps me with all the new fangled technology,  www.ancestry.com , library card, and cemeteries and SHAZAM a genealogist novice I have become!

Does all this matter? I think so and I will say it has been tons of fun.  I feel like I have a better take on history. I also believe in some way (mind you maybe this part is a fantasy) that the WORLD could be a better place if we understood each other better and realize we all were at one point intersecting from the same plane.  For example, this story is about the evolution of a woman and really a picture of why womens’ rights were so important: https://alesiablogs.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/pioneer-woman/

Here also are photos I came across from my research that have much meaning to me as they made the past come to life for me.  I usually like to tell you what kind of camera was used with my photography but I did not take these.  I can only say they were very old ones! Enjoy:

A photo found from a google search I did. A lady had put an annoucement on a research site that she had a photo of my husband’s grandpa (right) and her grandpa. It was an amazing find as no one had ever seen this photo before.  circa 1920.

Cousins from my father’s side. circa 1930’s.

Late 1800’s Photo. My 90 year old step dad’s grandpa

My maternal grandma second on the right. circa 1920’s.

My husband’s great uncle. circa 1900~

My husband’s Maternal side. Photo taken circa ~ 1910.