Monday, March 30, 2009

genealogy crazy

That's my Mom- second from left with the big hairbow and white dress. Her sister Jackie is the tall one- first on the left in white dress. I love this photo of her because there are not many photo moments captured with my Mom smiling. Maybe she was just squinting from the sun in her eyes here.(?)

My Mom was a bit of a non-smiler in young photos for some reason. From what I know she had a good childhood, although her Dad was pretty grumpy a lot of the time, from what I am told. He seemed to have been that way after he had survived a bad bout with Black Small Pox back when my Mom's older sister was a baby. There was an outbreak in Lucas County and, among the inflicted, he and only a few others survived it. My Great Grandmother (his mother) came to the house to care for him and never got the sickness. Their house happened to be very near a contagious disease hospital and the story that has been passed down is that "the sick were brought in the front door and the dead were taken out the back door....and there were plenty". He did not go to the "in the front and out the back door" hospital. They had to hang a sign on their house that indicated to the various delivery men, common in those days, that it was a sick house. He was left with deep pock marks and scaring and some apparent nerve damage. Mom said he had a pretty short temper sometimes.

When my Mom was a teenager and was a secretary for the dept of surplus war assets in the 1940s, she would invite Navy sailors- just back to the states- to have lunch or dinner at her house. Mom said her Mother loved having an extra person around the table and always cheerfully added another plate. Her Dad wasn't so happy about it, and thought his daughter was silly bringing home strays! There are many photos of Mom with Navy sailors. Some have names written on the back and some don't. I do not know any of these men. Sometimes I have looked at these snapshots over the years and wondered if I should throw them away. I never have. First of all, my Mom is in them, right? Secondly, they are a part of her genealogy as a young adult and also a piece of history. She is smiling and acting silly like a young happy go lucky girl in the photos= wearing her penny loafers and bobby socks and pleated wool skirts with twin sweater sets and wavy long auburn hair.

My Mom ended up marrying a WWII Navy sailor, my Dad= a Navy Sea Bee who was stationed in Guam. He wasn't one of the strays she brought home. He was a boy who lived on her street and fixed her bicycle for her when it broke.

I knew my Grandpa in his old age and always thought he was kind of quiet. I never really felt all that close to him and being able to carry on an easy going conversation just didn't seem to click for us. He loved gardening and building things, and drawing. I still have some of his white hybrid Iris flowers in my own garden, given to me from his garden in Michigan. The huge showy flowers have been blooming for decades. Here is a weird thing-- there always seems to be a hard rain storm the week that they are in full bloom each year-- and if I do not get them staked up right away when they begin to bloom they're beat down onto the sidewalk.

This is another great old family photo. It is my Mom's sister Jackie, taken in 1928 when my Mom was only a year old. I love the pose and the clothes, don't you?

I am absolutely crazy about genealogy. I wish I had more time to devote to organizing my photos, written memorabilia and such. I will need to live to be 110 to get it all in order. Good thing my two Grandpa's lived to be in their 90's...that gives me some hope to live to 110 doesn't it?


She'sSewPretty said...

Those photos are great Amy. I don't have many pictures of my parent's families. My mom had all of her pics in a wood box and it was water damaged. I really need to be more diligent about getting my pics printed now so that my children will have memories to look at some day. I was thinking about you this weekend. We met up with a few bloggers. I think that you should come back out here in October for a fall get together that we're planning. Win the lottery or something..will ya?! LOL

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Amy, I love Genealogy too and have traced my Mom's side back to the 16th century.
Very interesting story about your family. I was totally intrigued. And thank you so much for the comment you left me today. I always appreciate your comments so much. I am trying harder to visit my friends.
Sending you love, Nita

Sweet Somethings by Lois said...

Hi Amy.
My dad's youngest sister (she's 65 this year) is really into genealogy and has traced that side of the family back for ions. Last I heard she was trying to track a great something or other from France in the the early sixteen hundreds. She has a wall in her house that she has painted the family tree on. It is so is a mural of a real tree with all these branches coming off of it and the leaves have names and dates printed on them. Really cool! When my daughter got married 2 years ago she gave her a handmade book with pictures and the who's who of the family. My daughter was thrilled.
Anyway, sorry, I do drag on sometimes. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. I enjoyed it very much.

Lori E said...

Good job. Please don't throw out the photos of the navy guys and your mom. The ones who have names on the backs can be traced sometimes. I have traced families that are connected to family bibles for sale on EBay so they can grab their rightful heritage before it is sold to some stranger. You never know who is searching for these men and you may be the one holding the key...or photo in this case. :)