Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Found A Cousin!!!

About two or three weeks ago I did a white page search for a cousin I have lost contact with.  I wanted to re-establish our relationship, especially since I found our second cousins in England.  I found a listing for her and sent her a card in the mail.  I enclosed my email address and on Tuesday night I received an email from my cousin.   I did a happy dance! 

She was able to share with me some stories that I didn't know.   I have been able to share some things with her she didn't know.  So the fun and adventures continue.  She also has some wedding pictures of our grandmother and grandfather.  I am looking forward to seeing those.  

Story #1
Our grandfather was William Chaplin - I believe he was a motorman for a trolley or bus or maybe the subway?  He died when my Dad was 14; you Mom would have been pretty young, (She was 9) I think.  From the description I got my best guess is he had bleeding esophageal varicose, or a bleeding ulcer.  One of his favorite meals was beef and kidney stew and he drank tea, very, very black.  I knew the cause of death and his line of work but didn't know about the stew or tea.

My mother Edith age 6

Story #2 
"My Dad said your mother was always a jokster and used to put on skits and plays for the neighborhood was she was a little girl."
I had forgotten this.

Story #3
Oh - I remember my Dad telling me this story about Minnie that you will appreciate - she campaigned for the women's vote, and participated in suffragette marches.  When women finally got the right to vote and she went to the polls for the first time, she was told she couldn't vote because she was married to a non-citizen, thus was ineligible.  She was furious, because SHE was born here!  Now I never heard if that was simply the law at the time or if it was mix up, but I know that since hearing that story I can't miss voting because it makes feel guilty.  Even if there isn't anyone to vote for, I gotta go because I feel like it honors her and  all the work she and others who came first did for us.

I also vote in every election, I always think of it as my right and privilege for being a citizen.  Now I know it was very important to my ancestors as well.  My grandmother was the first one in her family to be born in this country.  Her parents and all her siblings were born in Germany. 

It has been very fun to learn more about my family. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on finding a cousin. How wonderful to reconnect. Even better that she shared those wonderful stories with you. I especially love it when I can learn more about an ancestor than just names, dates, and places.