The task given this final week of the year is to nominate who I want to research next year. To decide how to answer this, I went to my family tree fan chart. That was no help. I have heaps of information back several generations, so none took my fancy. Where to next?
My writing project – eight great great grandmothers. I’ve been a bit slack on finishing it because, well, the last three are going to be VERY HARD. None of them came to the United States and all are from Hungary. I have basic information, have even looked up a few maps to get a sense of where they lived. I think I’ll need to put on my big girl pants and dig in to finish this project. So here’s to great great grandmothers Catherine Deutsch, Quela or Guela Tula and Juliana Burkos. See you in 2022!
The theme this week fits my personal history from an American perspective. I just got this prompt today, a week late, so I’ll keep it short.
I was born on Labor Day, moved out of my parent’s house on Independence Day. I’m sure there were a couple more that were connected but can’t recall now. But I can always claim Labor Day in memory of my mother. 🙂
As for the Christmas holidays, these were spent at either of the grandparents’ homes – in Terre Haute with my dad’s parents or after a long four hour drive to South Bend to my mom’s parents. To be honest, I don’t remember a thing about them. It’s all blank. Is that weird?
Fourth of July was a big holiday for us. We used to go to the park near the stadium so we could watch the fireworks. Fireworks were limited to the 4th when I was a child, not this every event shooting off we seem to have today, at least in Australia. Any excuse for a cracker here. I always wanted to go in the stadium, but Dad (or Mom?) never let us. There was maybe an entrance charge. So we had a blanket on the grass and watched from there. The sky was free.
Halloween was a good holiday. We dressed up and did the trick or treating thing. But we also went to the school for the ‘party’ and costume contest. I remember the taste of apple cider as a treat there.
Thanksgiving was one of the best holidays. Oh, the food! Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Our was a traditional feast – complete bird, which meant there were plenty of turkey sandwiches for the next week.
Lines are not always straight, at least in families. They cross, they break and restart, they curve sometimes, and often just stop. When I thought about the concept of line in my family it was all of those. In fact I was describing this situation to friends over coffee just yesterday.
My 4 x great grandfather Isaac Whitaker is a bit like the above. And the reason the lines got screwy was because of his relationship with the Taylor family, all in north central Kentucky before a bunch of them picked up and moved to Indiana. And that relationship was children marrying children of both families as well as cousins. But here’s where the cross over of the lines really got sticky. So sticky that the lines I wanted to draw would have looked like a pin board for solving a crime – you know the one, with the crime scene photos and the suspects and victims all linked together with lines of red (always red) string.
I didn’t get that far in the venture, but through help from a distant cousin and some snooping, I think I figured it all out. Isaac married his children’s mother-in-law. Here’s how it worked. Isaac had a bunch of kids. Those kids married the children of James Taylor and his wife, Nancy Crist Taylor. Isaac was an old man. James had died. Isaac married a Nancy Taylor. One year later Isaac died. And all of this was pre-1850 census. Can you see my problem? If you do any US family history, you will know how important that 1850 census is because it names all the household members. Before that, they were just ticks in an age box on the form. The marriage registers exist, too, for all these people. But it wasn’t until that 1850 census that things fell into place because my 3 x great grandfather, Elijah Whitaker son of Isaac, was living in that house with Nancy Whitaker as the head, with his wife Rachel and Nancy’s son Jacob, and another passel of grandkids. And even though Nancy’s grave stone is with her first husband James, the facts line up.
Line. Get it?
I’ve ignored this blog for far too long, since 2019. That’s a long time. Pre-Covid even!
In the mean time, I’ve been doing a LOT of Family History work – collecting information about ancestors along various branches of our tree back into the 1600s settlement of America, as well as various lines across Europe. It’s been quite a venture.
Now it’s time to build the narrative, tell the story about these people, and see if I can make sense of any of it. To do this, I’ve joined another group from Amy Crow called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. The idea is that each week Amy provides a topic or word and the task is to write something about your family or history using that concept.
If you would like to have a go yourself, here is the link: https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/
There are 2 weeks left in 2021 (thank gods!), so I’m going to do at least one post next in the exercise – the concept: line. I’ll give it some thought now and see what sort of ‘line’ I can come up with. Watch this space.