Tag Archives: Family History

Brain “Teasers” from the Grave

Ancestors Almost a year ago, I was at an appointment with my neurosurgeon discussing among other things the possibilities of my brain tumor recurring and what I could do now to help my memory issues. I told him I am not interested in puzzles in the conventional way you think of them or sodoku. He laughed and said, “Well just find something you like that works for you and your brain.” It was shortly after that I became interested in genealogy. I found out so much information that I was starting to write it down to keep up with it. After a month or so of working on my ancestors, I began helping others. I felt like I was putting together real life puzzles.
In the months that have passed by, I realized that when you discover your past, it may make you emotional. You might find out something you did not expect. It is not always for the good either! Here are some of the examples of some of my discoveries from my own ancestors or other folks I assisted with their own research. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Oh, I mean those that are still alive. Better yet, I will not mention any names…..You will see why in a minute…Thank you also to those who taught me alot about research..YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE..THANK YOU FOR HELPING MY BRAIN!!!
1. It was found in one family that an ancestor( an uncle back from the civil war-time) was considered a hero in the south because he killed several Yankees for retribution for losing all his confederate soldier brothers in the war. He kept the buttons off their outfits as souvenirs. After awhile it was said his mother told him to leave the state he was living in because the law was after him. He did move away, but drowned in a river a few years later.
2. Another uncle who was 68 years old (why is it always uncles?) married a woman who was 12 years old. He had grown children and grandchildren older than his 12-year-old wife. This happened in the late 1800’s. They had at least four children together.
3. Another male “family” member was shot dead in the early 1900’s by two women that were sisters. Another find was a young ancestor who was shot dead accidently by his childhood friend.
4. A very rich and wise ancestor who owned much land and was well-known as a “banker” for the town he helped to develop in the late 1700’s hated one of his daughter’s husband. The husband allowed his daughter to die while she was in labor with their child when he could have tried to get her help. He chose not to. My research found a news clipping ad he paid for calling this man every name in the book and making sure this husband knew exactly where he stood with his father-in-law. Can you imagine taking an ad in the paper in this century?
5. A family member finds out she had an uncle she never knew existed. A person also had photos of a great-grandmother and never knew her name. This is found out from find a grave and other information like death records, or census records that identify other children in the household.
6. A family member found out he has a sister living that was 20 years younger than him with the use of the 1940 census and great detective work.
7. A family member finds out they had an ancestor on the Ship The Tennessee at Pearl Harbor when Japan invaded Hawaii.
8. Family members find out their parents are double cousins or worse yet that their parents were sister and brother.
9. A family member finds out their ancestor was a NAZI in WWII.
10. Last but not least, a family member finds out they are related to Conway Twitty, or better yet possibly Napoleon from a DNA match.

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.