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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Reunited

ancestors.jpg

Iím the one in the middle. No, not really. Ha ha.

Seriously, the man on the left is my great-grandfather. I was born on what would have been his one hundredth birthday. Next to him, in the back row, is his wife. The man on the right is his son, my motherís father. My grandfather died when I was ten. Iím pretty sure this picture was taken right around 1900.

My great-grandfather had four daughters. Of course, none of us present day descendants knew this. Not until a few years ago, that is. As far as we knew there were only two girls and my grandfather. Based on some of the stories I heard about the two acknowledged sisters, I can only imagine why the other two sisters were never mentioned. Suffice it to say, the two known sisters were wild, even by todayís standards.

Three or four years ago I saw a message on a genealogy web site from someone who mentioned my great-grandfather by name. I was a astounded because I thought I had the genealogy pretty well nailed down on that side of the family. I had no idea who the message poster was. I had never heard her name mentioned in our family history. I sent her an e-mail and attached a photo (not the above photo) of my great-grandfather. She wrote me back and said that for all the years she could remember, her mother had the same photo on her dresser.

As it turns out, the message poster was the granddaughter of one of the unacknowledged sisters. Several months later, she drove here from Michigan and met with me, my mom, and my oldest daughter. It was like being reunited with a long lost relative that I never knew. Or something like that.

Posted by Marie at June 10, 2004 11:49 PM

Comments

This is great stuff, Marie. (Parenthetically, what was it about life back then that gave people such a jolly appearance? I have a similar picture of my dad's grandparents, which came to me from a distant relative encountered online, after they came over from Norway about a hundred years ago; let's just say that their expressions suggest that life on the fjord had been tough). On my mom's side of the family, I got an email a few years ago from a man of about 70 who had read my online account of my great-grandmother. This guy said he couldn't be sure, but he believed that his dad was my great-grandmother's brother. He was right -- his dad had married and had children very late in life and had also lived to a great old age; and what was more, he lives only 10 miles from me, so I went over and met him about a week later, and that meeting led him to get back in touch with my mom and her sibling's (whom this guy had last seen when he was a young boy).

Posted by: Dan at June 11, 2004 11:33 AM