Today in My History
Cross Your Heart
Journal, April 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
2 July 2021
Remember the early days of the internet? How easy it was to find things? We didn't have Google but we had other search engines that did fewer searches. But if you wanted to find someone's telephone number, put in the name and address and you got it. If you wanted to check someone's death date, go to the obituaries for the state and in a short period of time you had it. Go to search Facebook and you didn't get four pop-up ads every time you check a link.
Now the only way you can get someone's phone number is to pay an amount that will give you that person's entire history, including arrests, marriages, etc. I just want the phone number.
I have been surfing the net all afternoon and getting more and more frustrated. It was prompted by my entry yesterday about all the family reunions. It reminded me that I had received a note from someone from my father's side of the family who wanted to meet me. We each had information about the family that the other didn't have. We decided to do it and then she canceled--and now I can't find her email, which was from several years ago.
The thing about my father's family is that I know essentially NOTHING about it. This is my grandfather (left) with his parents and a brother or two.
This is the only picture I've ever seen of his parents and they were never talked about. I met two of his brothers, one of whom was my godfather so I knew him well, the other of whom I only met once. I only met my grandmother's mother once or twice and know nothing about her. I know my grandmother had a brother (and that he somehow was responsible for getting my parents together), but I don't remember ever meeting him and I know that my grandmother never talked about him
Several years ago I decided to try Ancestry.com. In those days it was pretty easy to figure out and you could easily check out the family of friends. Now the only way you can check anything is by signing up for a $25/month membership. Before the need for the membership, I was able to check my grandmother's brother's family and learned that I was all wrong about the family's arrival in the United States. I always assumed it was a girl who left Ireland during the potato famine and came here alone, but it was my grandfather's parents who left Ireland to come here (or maybe it was their parents...I can't remember now). Anyway, there is no way I can find out now without paying $25/month.
I did find out that when my father was living with his parents in 1940, the year he married my mother, his uncle, my grandmother's brother, lived just a few blocks away (according to a census record I was able to see). I found him in two census records, living with his mother, but no indication of where my grandmother was living. It was interesting that I found her in a later census record, listing her as the head of the household, living with her husband and son. Yep...that sounds about what she would have told a census taker!
I've been trying to figure out if it's worth it to me to join Ancestry for a couple of months to do some digging around, but realistically I probably won't make a lot of use out of it. My cousin Peach worked diligently on Ancestry for years and uncovered a whole history of my mother's side of the family, dating back to Robert the Bruce (one of our relatives was a friend of his) ... also found out that we had a relative who ran with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and was later killed in a train robbery.
that's the Sundance Kid on the left and Butch
Cassidy on the right
The one thing I did find, which was interesting and kind of scary is how old people were, people that I remember as being very old. For example, I found the date my father's father died and remember him as being frail and in a nursing home...and discovered that he was just a couple of years older than Walt. Also, I don't have my grandmothers' death year, but I remember her as being very old when David was born...and when I discovered her birth year she was younger than I am when David was born.
Then there is this picture of my mother and her oldest sister (the sister's picture taken in 1997).
In the photo of my mother, she is 10 years younger than the photo of her sister. In fact, at 101, she still doesn't look quite as bad as her sister did in this picture!
I think I need a nap.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is a new female squirrel who is not as "friendly" as the others.
I'd love it if you'd leave a comment! (Comments show up after I
This is entry #7769