Sunday, March 5, 2017

In Search of a Story Draft 1

My guys went to the big city today and I had the afternoon at home on my own.
I found out yesterday that my father-in-law's estranged brother died a year or so ago. The details are sketchy but it seems as though he estranged himself from the rest of the family. Even his own children were not aware he had died. This thought makes me very sad because my in-laws aren't sure of the exact date. I've done research on hubby's side of the family as well as my own -- just not as much, so I looked for more info but found little.

While my guys were enjoying the movie Logan in the big city, I had the TLC marathon of "Who Do You Think You Are?" playing on the TV and I worked on my genealogy research.

I am 99% positive I will never find any kings or queens or royalty of any kind in my tree. Nor does my husband. We do have farmers --lots of farmers. We have widows and widowers and orphans. We have military and those who maintained the home front.

There are so many bits and pieces when put together that make a story.
In laws have picture books that the town they grew up in put together. Sussex, New jersey, where they're from, asked for historical pictures from those who had lived there. They received so many they have 3 volumes. Within those pages are faces and places that are foreign to me, but as I asked questions my in-laws had stories to share. This led me to wish each town would do this.

State history is a 4th grade standard. What if there was a town standard? I've learned so much about my home town through research of my ancestors. How much more would I have learned if school and forced / encouraged me to interview relatives from home. How much more pride in my home town would I have had if I had known more than the story of Belle Guiness (one of the first female serial killers)?

I know people move -- more today than in the past -- but knowing the history of where you are gives you a stronger foundation.

Did you know Dr. Mayo of the Mayo Clinic went to medical school in La Porte, Indiana? Did you know La Porte had a medical school? Did you know that medical school was on the same property as the elementary school I went to? I didn't. And I bet there aren't many from La Porte who know either. And the shame is that that is only one aspect. La Porte has been a dying town since manufacturing moved out 30 years ago. Would pride help save dying towns?


  1. There really is nothing like stories to make us feel more connected. You make an excellent point!

  2. You raise such a great point! Could pride save a town? My cousin has done much of this same work for our family and it is fascinating to look back and connect the mysterious dots.