My paternal uncle, cornered at last, had to confess that he could not focus on the numerous details I wanted to lavish upon him about his very special Y-DNA, how I’d proven a family legend was just the fanciful replacement of a sadder background by a great grandfather, the lovely 3rd and 4th cousins I’d met in my journeys through genealogy boards and services… how this branch went to Canada and THAT branch to Minnesota, and…
“UH-thuhz ahn’t WY-uhd the same way, Joy” (The Family Boston Accent)
OK, then. I’ll move like water. I’ll just put this wonderful information here. Here on my own site I’ll tempt them with stories of our hardworking laundress, the feisty sister who sneaked onto a boat by herself in “Queenstown” by pretending to be “looking for her father” as her father’s mates asked her what she was doing down there by the dock, the sparky and impatient school janitor who bought his own boat and gave rides for money to Bostonians and tourists…. the heartbreaking losses of our brave young men in WWI… the child silk workers of Macclesfield, England. The sentimental, sad pastry chef with a 6th grade education, far from his family as he worked at New England beach resorts, who loved his little family, but let them down, and my search for his grave.
I love them all, and I want to tell their stories, because as I’ve learned each one, I’ve recognized the failings and virtues are all knit into my own self.
I knew their stories before I learned them, and I hope something feels true for whoever shows me mercy and reads the stories to come.