Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Beauty & Joy of Ancestry.com

As a young girl, I sat & listened to the stories my grandmother would
tell of her childhood, always fascinated by them. She was born in
1918 at a time when divorce was uncommon, but before she was
2 her parents split up & she was raised by her father's, father.

Her dad worked on the railroad & was rarely in town & her
mother, working full time to make money to help support her,
only saw her on occasional weekends. Growing up, her world
was her grandpa's house in rural Illinois, her Uncle Tony & his
family & her beloved Aunt Flossie. She told me how Flossie
would sit on a stool, take down her long chestnut hair & brush
it 100 strokes every night. She told me why Aunt Flossie had
become a spinster, the tragic tale of her ruined engagement,
public humiliation & her withdrawal into her father's home.

I can picture her grandpa, pulling her in a sled to church every
Sunday during winter, placing a heated brick wrapped in
newspaper by her feet to keep her warm. Loving memories
of family, I can only see in my minds eye. I have been blessed
with a handful of old photographs, 2 of my great~grandfather
William, a few of my grandmother when she was small, but
none of the loving family that raised her all those years ago,
that is until now.

Let me introduce you to my Great~Great Auntie Flossie...
courtesy of an angel named Barbara & the Beauty & Joy
of Ancestry.comIsn't she a BEAUTY!!! :)))

{Flossie, Lura, Mabel & Nellie}

I've been researching our genealogy for the past few years
& LOVE all the information I have been able to gather from 
Ancestry.com. The community there is generous & supportive &
you can contact someone if you have a question or have added
documents or data that may help in their research , this is the way
Barbara found me. While going through some of her husband's,
grandmother's photographs, she came across many that had the
name Flossie Brewer on them. She too loves Ancestry & found
Flossie under my family tree & saw that I had no pictures of her. 

{Nellie & Flossie}

She contacted me & asked if I would be interested in having
the pictures she had, to which I gave a HUGE, YES PLEASE!
It seems his grandmother Nellie & my Aunt Flossie had been
lifelong friends since childhood. I was so excited to be able to
finally get a chance to put a real photograph to the stories my
grandmother use to tell. When the package arrived I was
amazed at what JOY was in that small bundle, for not only
did she have photographs of my Aunt...

she also had photographs of my Uncle Tony

& my dear Grandmother, Twilla Mae Fern as a little girl.
For someone like me, this is the stuff dreams are made of.
This is like going into an abandoned house, up into the attic
& finding a treasure trove of antiques, but even better...
this is the story of me, the story of us.

This photograph has writing on the back by Flossie...
"Here's Twilla in the yard & that's me on the porch swing!"
I've never seen a picture of my great~great grandfather,
but now I can look at his house, the house that
raised at least 2 generations of my family.

The back of this one says...
Mrs. Brewer, Flossie & Twilla
I can see their lace curtains through the window & I know this
must be Uncle Tony's wife Lena, they lived across the street.

And here is grandma with her cousin Margaret, who she always
talked about & kept a correspondence up with until the day she died.

My sweet, little, red haired grandmother with her baby...
how cute is this?

Soooo, my Sweet Friends...
This is the Beauty & Joy of Ancestry.com for me. An unlikely
acquaintance of two women that live on opposite sides of the US.
Two women, unrelated, but soul sisters in their quest for the past
& their love for family mementos. An angel, who would go out of
her way to connect a long lost Aunt & Uncle, with the niece they
never knew, who will treasure these photographs forever.
I can never thank you enough sweet Barbara, for
the gift you have given me!

And yes, I had to make a little fabric book to hold my treasures
safe & sound. I wish my grandmother could have seen these
pictures, she would LOVE them so! I bet she's
smiling, right now.