Monday, September 17, 2018

Connections to The Past

Based on the date on the barn, and the hair, the young man on the right between the two grey horses, is my maternal grandfather.  He farmed with horses and mules into the late 1940's.  

I am discovering family I didn't know I had.  

My mother had a strange relationship with her family.  Her parents were estranged from parts of their families resulting from decades old fights over inheritances, my grandmother got cash instead of farmland when her father died and never forgave other family members who received land instead of cash (everyone received the same value, the issue was land or cash.) My grandmother was the dominant member of that couple, (he was passive aggressive - and never spoke up) so if they were not seeing her family they were not seeing any family.  The result, is I knew very little of my mother's family. 

A few weeks ago the post office forwarded me a funeral notice sent to my late parents, for an uncle of hers.  He died at age 100, he was my maternal grandfather's much younger brother (like 16 years younger.) He had been an army officer and an accountant for the city of Lansing, Michigan.  When he retired he moved to Phoenix, and all but one of his adult children lives in the Phoenix area.  I wrote a letter in response explaining that my parents are dead, and that the notice had been forwarded to me.  I said, I'd love to reconnect with my grandfather's family.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a second cousin, I never knew existed.  She is a recently retired school teacher in the Phoenix area.  I am thrilled.  I am stopping in Phoenix on a trip to the west coast later this fall, I will have lunch with Shirley and meet her mother.  I am also going to see Spo and Someone while I in the Valley of the Sun.  

I am sorting through other artifacts from my mother's belongings. More to come on learning about family on both sides.  (Hint, I have my paternal grandmother's address list from 1928.) . 


  1. The title of the film "A Trip to Bountiful" comes to mind. Wishing you wonderful discoveries. Jerry and I once tracked all the addresses of his South Dakota ancestors. Also went to the home in Maine built by his 5-greats in 1794. What an adventure.

  2. ooooh, wonder what skeletons you might find!