#TBTMemory 59: No One Else Would Know

Lauren has the questions this week, which are all about “Passing on the (family) stories.” I’ve written a number of family stories on the blog and have been told repeatedly that I ought to gather them together in a book and sell them. Which I have begun, and have quite a few, and I really need to get back to it, because Mary says so.

Anyway, here are the questions and my answers and associated media and stuff…

Did you have multiple family generations nearby when growing up? We did: Most of Mom’s family lived either in Rogers Park (on the far north side) or South Shore (on the south side). Most of Dad’s family lived in Rogers Park. Our family tree is a bit of a rat’s nest….

I’m in there somewhere…

What are some of the earliest family stories you remember hearing? See next question. There is one story that Mom told on her brother Jack, about his graduation from grammar school, but I need to confirm it with him…

Did your parents tell you the story about how they met? Mom did, and I recounted it here. Mom being Mom, she omitted a major part of it, which evidently she didn’t omit when she told Kip the story. You can read his comment over there… Mary and I don’t have children, so it would be a little hard to have told them about how we met…

Did aunts, uncles, or grandparents ever share embarrassing stories about your parents when they were children? Not really any embarrassing ones, though my Dad’s brothers told stories about when they were kids. Some of them might not have been totally true. My family worked on the same philosophy of storytelling that I do: it’s okay to modify history (a little) to achieve a greater comedic effect…

Did your parents or siblings ever tell your kids embarrassing stories from your youth? We don’t have kids…

Were there tales you wish you had asked your parents or grandparents, but never did? What would you like to have asked them? Most of what I know about my family tree is thanks to my aunt Alice. She’s done an outstanding job with the Connelly side of the family, and filled in some of the blanks on the Holton side based on notes my aunt Cash took from Grandma Holton. I wish I had picked Grandma’s brain a little more about the Holtons and the Welches.

If you had a magical way to speak to a deceased relative, what would you most like to ask them? There are two relatives I never had a chance to meet that I really wish I had: Grandpa Holton (who died in 1939) and my aunt Eleanor, Dad’s sister (she died in 1931, before Dad was born), not so much to ask them questions as to just know them.

Do you share stories about your time growing up with your children or grandchildren? No children or grandchildren, ergo no. Is there something you don’t want to be lost when you are no longer in this realm? I don’t have anything that would be worth keeping for generations.

Have you ever done research to find out more facts about your lineage? Did you ever find anything surprising? One thing that I discovered, somewhat to my chagrin, is that many of Grandma Holton’s brothers and sisters lived in Rogers Park, in fact a few lived within a few blocks and I never knew them. I knew her brother Bob, his wife Ann, and their boys, Bobby and Paul, but her brother Dave lived two blocks over and the only time I can remember her even mentioning him was when he died (she had some of his clothes that fit me). I met a couple of Dad’s cousins online, a brother and sister who were the children of Grandma’s brother Jack, who knew a lot more about me and my family than I did. I also had a weird (in a good way) experience when I found a picture of her oldest sister Estella online. Estella died in the 1940’s and her husband remarried, and his daughter by his second wife had posted the picture to Ancestry.

Estella Welch. She looks a lot like Grandma…

Have you kept journals, records, or important information about your family, that you want to be handed down for future generations? Well, there’s that book I mentioned…

14 thoughts on “#TBTMemory 59: No One Else Would Know

  1. I don’t know if other families did this a lot but every Sunday growing up we would go to my grandmothers and eat. She loved having the family there and a Sunday was never missed. After she passed that ended with the family and we have never been close since.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love anything ancestry and I am a rate xase, I guess, tgat I love seeing old pics of people’s relatives. Your grandma’s sister was beautiful. I wonder what she died from. I love the seppia tones. My mom always spoke of her ancestry and growing up in prewar Germany. My dad spoke about his humble times growing up in a forest area near a lake and how poor they were. He was given his dad’s glosses and pants that were cut off at the bottom and held up with a rope. He was a true early rascal. I’m so glad they were open. My mom often spoke about how they met which was so sweet. As for embarrassing stories..my brother can tell a couple and my mom. I only had aunts and uncles from my dad’s side and not all of them. My dad’s mom died in 1919. My mom’s relatives lived in Austria so I didn’t have the same time I had with my dad’s family. I got my ancestry DNA done and they can now split the parents up so you can see where the DNA comes from. My dad is mainly Polish. My mom, I was shocked to learn how much Swedish I have. I bet my mom never knew that at all. I have no kids either but wish I had someone to hand over the ancestry stuff. Camden, my brother’s child( heavens to Betsy if I say she or niece) wiped me off her list to speak to calling me judgements and insensitive in every conversation we ever had. I was very hurt and truly have no wish to give her the Ancestry stuff I found. My mom has records dating back to the late 1600s on our ancestry. This was done in the early 40s when my aunt got married. She had to have proof there was no Jewish blood on her side…disgusting! Every page is stamped with the Eagle and swastika. Sad why I gave it yet still glad I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As upsetting as it is having paperwork stamped by a Nazi bureaucrat, those are still excellent records to have, because they have all that genealogical information. You never know, you might run into someone that has more of the story of your family. Mary’s mother got a call one day from a guy who was a relative of her father, a cousin once removed. She was thrilled to know that she had family she never knew about…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminded me of how my cousins lived ten minutes up the road from us when I was little and we saw them, like, twice a year. That’s pretty crazy, you know? My parents could have fostered a relationship there but they didn’t!

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  4. Thanks for joining in John. I have to admit I was freaked out by your rat picture. It is sad that you were living so close to your extended family and never got to know them. I’d love to read your memories when you get around to writing your book. 🙂


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