|Photo from the family collection of Hannah & William Broadfoot, held privately by Midge Frazel, 2016|
Lawn Chair Genealogy
In my paternal family, we practice a not-so-unusual-family-activity that I am now calling lawn chair genealogy. Well, it isn't all about genealogy, it is about families getting together a couple times a year and having fun together and just talking to each other while sitting in lawn chairs.
I can tell you that we did not spend enough time doing this as people aged and died. My father's brother Bill's wife, Hannah
was the family photographer and storyteller. I could always count on her to pay attention around these events and report back to me when I asked.
Hannah married into my paternal family BUT, as it turns out, she was a distant cousin to me on my maternal side. I don't think she knew this before she died but once I figured that out, I worked on it until I was sure.
Hannah was a great family historian. She and my uncle doted on us because they did not have kids of their own. We really appreciated her. Everyone knew Hannah in her town. Smart and talented with a needle, she also labeled her photos better that most of us that are left behind. That's why I scanned the front and back of this photo.
Even when I wasn't there, my paternal family went on vacation together. As I have inherited some of those photos, they tell me what I wanted to know. This is indeed a treasure.
When I was old enough, I began to ask questions of my aunts and uncles as to what they liked to do, what jobs they had and who were the non family members that we invited to these events.
As the aunt pictured here, with my mother, worked for my maternal grandfather, my families came together at that point. My parents were born in the same town. It is a lucky coincidence for me.
There is just two of us left now, since one of us three cousins recently died. I realize that I have made a "rookie mistake". We planned to get together last summer and we didn't settle on a date. I am the little cousin. Being younger, I thought there was more time. As a genealogist, I should have known better.
I am in a state of "genealogy mourning". I have done the only thing I can and that is to gather my 1st cousins, once removed together, via Facebook and I've started asking questions. It is the only way to see what we know and what we don't. They are mourning too. This is hard. I feel stupid for my rookie mistake of procrastination. I have made first contact with spouses and cousins on their "other" sides and I am starting a plan. I'll take any help that I can get.
|First cousins, once removed (a long time ago)|