Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Connections

I love making connections when I lose myself in genealogy. Those little "Aha!" moments that connect me/my family with the distant past and brings it to a reality with us here and now. For me, it was discovering ol' Moses Hulbert living not so far from where I live now. I made another connection a few nights ago.

Not having a specific plan in mind, I decided to research for more records on my grandmother. In the last census available, she would've been nearly 5 years old, so I started there...living in Indiana. A sad note, my grandmother's father was killed in a work related injury just before this time, leaving great-grandma a widow at only 23 years old with 3 small children. I wanted to know what made great-grandma decide to move to Indiana after the death of her husband.

I'd seen the 1930 census before, but had only looked at the name listing that interested me...BINGLE. This time as I looked it over, another name, right above great-granny Bingle, hit me like a 2x4 right between the eyes. LANE. Specifically, Roy Lane.

It was such an "Aha" moment, that I literally did exclaim "Aha!" outloud, prompting my hubby to even look my way. But I was already scurrying to find the next piece of this puzzle. You see, Roy Lane, was a brother to Vaughn Lane - The man who would eventually marry great-granny Bingle and become her 2nd husband. But where was Vaughn? Not seeing him, I started looking for THEIR parents. Maybe he was still living at home with mom & dad?

This search led me to a draft registration card from 1918 for Norman Lane. To keep it simple - we'll call him my great-great grandfather. The address listed on the card was a street in Kokomo, Indiana. Right about then a little grin formed, and another "Aha!" was itchin' to come out...but I kept quiet, and kept looking for clues.

I mapquested. I google earthed. I made a quick phone call....and there it was. The Aha! moment.

Norman Lane, our great-great grandfather (in theory), lived 6 blocks away from the house where my brother had lived in Kokomo.

Kokomo - a place we had no connections to. It was simply where my brother had found a job after he had finished college. He & his wife had lived there, worked there, brought 2 children into the world there...it was their home for a number of years. And we never knew that just 6 blocks away - 2 streets over - was where great great grandpa & grandma Lane had once lived, where our great grandpa had probably visited at one time 80 years prior to my brother ever stepping foot in the city.

So I never did uncover what made great-granny Bingle move to Indiana, and I haven't yet found where great-grandpa Vaughn was in 1930. But it's the little connections like this that remind me why I do this. These were all real people. Even if I never knew them - they did exist...sometimes in our very own backyards.

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