My genealogy journey began about 15 years ago with some old papers of my paternal grandmother. She had typed notes on her husband’s aunts and uncles that had emigrated to America & Australia in the mid 19th century. I wanted to know all I could about them and set about tracing my grandmother’s clues. From that to this, there have been triumphs and tangents, reforging of long lost family connections and some extraordinary discoveries.
I believe every family’s story is worth preserving.
Here’s one of mine…
The photo you see above spent almost 100 years in a cardboard folder. For 30 of those years we didn’t know who these people were. Nobody ever thought to ask my grandparents and when they died the names passed through the years and across the miles died with them.
It lay heaped in with other forgotten faces at the bottom of a plastic bag. Now and again it would taken out and examined. The cardboard folder had a stamp for a California photographer. Who were these people and why had this treasured photo found it’s way to County Cork? I already knew some of the American relatives ended up in California and so I started from there.
I followed a hunch focusing on my great great grandmother’s maiden name. Trawling through records and tracing the generations I found a branch of the family that fit the ages and relationships in the photo… but where to find the proof? That eureka moment came at my desk, another dead end search or so I thought. I turned away from my computer screen and when I turned back a photo had loaded, and there they were, well some of them anyway. Their names neatly printed in all their magnificent glory. It was such a thrill. They were real people, they were my people. A further generational search led me to Hawaii and to the little boy in the man’s arms on the extreme front & right. When I found them, he was still alive, though sadly he has since passed away. Hanging on a wall in Hawaii is the same picture. I’ve found cousins across the miles that only knew of a vague connection to Ireland. So almost a century after the photo was taken, two branches were reunited, friendships forged and family reunited. That’s why I do what I do, to remember them.
Together we’ll make sure your faces in frames are not forgotten.