Monday, March 7, 2016

Close to Home: An Only Child But Not Alone

Photo from the Collection of William and Hannah (Champlin) Broadfoot
now privately held by Midge Frazel, 2016

Close to Home
An Only Child but Not Alone
When I began to work on the Genealogy "Do-Over" last year, my goal was to organize and confirm the research I did on my paternal family that came from Scotland.  On my maternal side, I found out that the one family who were involved in the wool industry came from Saddleworth, England. I found the cathedral in which they were married and real images of their vital records. I spent the summer working on my Rhode Island family and found it very hard and it very unfinished.

This year, I did a "Go-Over" on the closest maternal five generations and started my personal history after finding my own "papers" in a plastic bag stored completely the wrong box. At least they survived the move from Cranston, RI to Bridgewater, MA to here five years ago. "Close to Home" applies to my personal history too.

In 2014, my last surviving aunt passed away at 97. She was the "photo journalist" of my family. I just inherited the photos that belonged to her husband's side of the family. She was married to my father's brother after my own birth. She was my cousin on my maternal side. Double family!

As an only child, I have always felt alone in my quest and when I received these photos, I realized I was wrong. It really knocked me over and I stopped working and called my cousin. 

That "defining moment" made me realize that I need to incorporate the information about my paternal aunts and uncles and my maternal uncle. My maternal uncle died when I was a baby. I have struggled with his story but a mystery has been solved.

Since this is Women's History month, I am going to start with my father's sisters. First up, my aunt Ada. This photo is of her children and they are my only first cousins. They are my link to the past. 

This kind of portrait photo was common in the late 1940s. They are so cute that it is hard to remember they are in their seventies today. 

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