Thursday, February 9, 2012

A dapper working man . . .

Too busy with work to write much, but I thought I'd share this photo I was recently shown of my maternal grandfather; my best guess is this would be sometime around 1910-1915.

I mentioned here that not only was I the eldest of twelve (two adopted), but my parents each had nine siblings -- in other words, a huge extended family. Primarily because of geography, I scarcely know the 50 cousins on my mother's side. In fact, I doubt I've seen any of them for at least 15 years, and many of them not for 40!

But one of my cousins got the brilliant idea to start a "Secret Group" on Facebook (I believe that's a Facebook term, obviously not a particularly effective one, as the secret's now out!), and within two weeks of her starting it, we have 85 members, all related (either by blood, adoption, or marriage) to my maternal grandparents. And it's been fascinating to watch the pooled knowledge beginning to take shape, with various cousins uploading photos such as the one above. Another cousin has started a blog on which she's outlining the lineage and history, tracing the line back to 17th-century France. I knew some of this when I wrote my post about the connections I found in Paris with my grandmother's lost language, her little missal, my treasure. But the connections are becoming much more concrete, and I'm tempted to try to make it to my ancestor's small village near Lyon, perhaps this May.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying this image of my handsome grandfather in this postcard he sent his sister. My cousin notes that on its back Grandpa has written that he'd been hit on the back of his head by a piece of wood while working at the sawmill, but after getting 2 or 3 stitches, he'd gone right back to work. Now I'm looking forward to an eventual family reunion where perhaps I'll have a chance to turn the card over and see my grandfather's words in his own writing, from 100 years ago. . .

What photos have surfaced from the past to surprise you, broadening your vision of family history? I'm sure there are a few. Do tell. . .

16 comments:

  1. I can totally see the family resemblance! Awesome.

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    1. It's much easier to see in this picture of him so young. Previously, I'd only known him as an old man.

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  2. I can see it too! Also the spirit, the little bit of quirky:).

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    1. Oh, there was a whole lot of quirky in my grandpa. But such a hard worker . . .

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  3. I'm lucky to have a large number of photographs, but they are all so very posed - it's hard to find a hint of the true personality.

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    1. Yes, and the cameras of that day didn't allow much movement.

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  4. No photographs, but an email to my sister form the wife of a brother we have never seen, she is for some reason keen to get us together...not sure why, but I am curious to see how some of my genes have manifested themselves in a male.

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    1. I have to admit I'd be curious . . . but also apprehensive. . .

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  5. What a wonderful photo of your grandfather. My husband uses Ancestry.com to research our family trees and share info. He has found all sorts of interesting tidbits including ship manifests listing relatives coming to the US.

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    1. There seem to be so many fabulous resources on-line. Much tougher decades ago for my aunt and my youngest uncle, tracking down documents physically over thousands of miles. Fascinating to be able to benefit from their work AND then watch some of my cousins taking it to the next step with on-line platforms such as your husband uses. So cool that you're able to pinpoint the ship voyages.

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  6. Genealogy is always so fascinating to me. I joined Ancestry.com several years ago...and then let my membership lapse, deciding that I would need to be retired before I could fully indulge this interest. But a side-trip in France, yes! My grade-a-thon begins tomorrow.

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    1. I could imagine you being able to turn your family research into a novel or two, in your retirement. So far, I'm glad to watch the work of other relatives, but I can imagine getting pulled in . . . And happy grading, my company in misery! ;-)

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  7. I love the old photos of my mother and father when they were courting. How elegant the women looked, always wearing dresses or skirts and blouses.
    Family photos are indeed a treasure. I hope you get to see your grandfather's writing for yourself.

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    1. Lucky you, to have those. Very few exist of my mom and dad pre their marriage. My dad was a British Merchant Marine for 10 years from his joining up at 15. Not much photo taking then, and in Britain during the war and after, I think there wasn't much money for film, etc.
      As well, with both parents being at the youngest end of the family, older siblings, I think, took most of the photos when my grandparents died. Now, those are getting shared digitally and it's quite wonderful!

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  8. Mater, thank you for your comment on my (now defunct) blog. It was lovely to hear from you. Would love to stay in touch, so if you want to email me your email address, I'm at tiffany at cracklecommunications.com.au ... I'm still following and reading, just not really joining in any more, for a slew of reasons. But you're still inspiring me!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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