Getting to the Source of a Family Record


I’ve mentioned this record before. It’s the family record my great-grandmother Anna created and distributed in 1979 that identified the children, siblings, parents, and grandparents of her and her recently deceased husband. Being twelve years old and having never wondered about any of these people, I was thrilled to suddenly consider them. Being twelve years old, I also lost interest and moved past the whole situation with head-spinning speed.

In retrospect, of course, I’m deeply disappointed I wasn’t older or perhaps had the precocious wherewithal to follow up with my great-grandmother. Did the record preserve everything she knew about her and her husband’s families? Or did it just summarize her knowledge? Did she record this data from memory? Or were there older family records she used as her sources?

I had plenty of time to ask about these things too. She lived until 1990, a year after I graduated from college and moved to New York. Alas, my real interest in genealogy was still fifteen years away from emerging. When it did, not only had my great-grandmother died, but her daughters (my grandmother and great-aunt) had slipped deeply into dementia. Following up on the family record would once have been an easy exercise; now it would be a real challenge.

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  1. April 1, 2019 3:07 pm
  2. April 3, 2019 2:23 pm

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