Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaBloPoMo #26 - Come Out Wherever You Are

(There's currently a hockey game on the TV in the room where I'm sitting right now...that makes it a great night for lots of Mt. Dew, Chocolate and Genealogy.)

I really just wish my great-grandfather were still alive so he and I could sit down and have a chat about his life growing up.

Out of all of my ancestors, I've probably written about him the most.  Probably because he's the closest ancestor that has been the most illusive!  I can understand struggling to find a 4th cousin...or even a 4th great-grandfather...but this guy...and his brother and sister...continue to be a pain in my butt!

I spoke with my grandmother today, and she passed along a few names that she would like me to search for records on.  God love her, I just didn't have the heart to tell her that the info she was interested in could easily be found at the public library 10 minutes from her house.  After all, she thinks I'm a genealogy goddess, capable of finding any little tidbit with the stroke of a few keys on my computer.  So I said that I would search for it and get her the information as soon as possible.

The family members she's interested in happen to be the niece and nephew of my great-grandfather, and I haven't spent a lot of time on this line.  So this is good practice for me, researching family that I don't really know about.  It takes a little more endurance and diligence to see it through.

Unfortunately my great-grandfather and his sister were both pretty illusive for about 10 years.  Somehow they got missed on the 1900 census with their father in Ohio (who had remarried at this time), she showed up married in West Virginia, and then...somehow...ended up out in Illinois (which is where my great-grandfather married his 1st wife.)  I'd love to know how they ended up out there...my guess is he probably travelled with his older sister and her new hubby.  But what lured them out there?  Why Piatt County?  And what did he do between 1888 and 1910?

Perhaps it's something as simple as he was just missed on the census.  There were a lot of new step-siblings in the house by the time the 1900 census taker came around.  But I don't think so, because his sister is not there either.  My gut says that they were together...wherever that was.   And that's a bitter-sweet thought.

If the two were together, they were without their father who had moved on and had a new family.  Their mother had died when they were young, and their oldest brother had died a few years prior.  Really, they were all each other had.

But I love thinking of them staying together, watching out for one another as they made their way and become young adults, and getting married. Even when great-grandpa returned to Ohio by 1930, he was living not that far away from his sister still, as she also made her way from Illinois home to the Buckeye state.

Of this I feel certain - the two of them were incredibly close, and stayed close until his death in 1964.  That makes me smile knowing that they had that bond together.

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