I’ve been interested in this for quite a long time. I want to know where I come from. This doesn’t define me at all. But I feel so damn disconnected from my family, which I know goes beyond my tiny immediate family, that I just want to have an idea of what is out there… what sort of history I come from. My father has been so hush-hush about it and I’ve been unable to ask his other relatives because those I’ve known… are dead and gone. I don’t know the names of any others or who is even in existence. Without knowing birth or death days, I was even sort of limited as far as doing genealogy searches online.
So, I asked my father the other day if he could please send me the birthdates for his parents because I was going to try digging on my own. He mentioned that a long-distant cousin of his had already done some of that research. Really? Excuse me while I headdesk here for a minute because this has not been the first time I’ve asked him about this.
This morning he forwarded me a copy of my grandfather’s obituary and death certificate, both of which are extremely helpful but very contrary to information I’ve been led to believe my entire life. My grandfather would have been 72 at the time I was born, had he been alive. He lived through two world wars but never served, which I’m going to guess was dumb luck with timing and his age. I was told he was born and lived in Upper Michigan until moving to Milwaukee, but certificate of death says no… he was born in Maine… in 1907. I have no idea what his mother’s nationality is based on her maiden name alone.
I also know that he was buried (not cremated) and is in a cemetery in Milwaukee. I will have to look into that next time I’m down there.