Post 622: my paternal great-grandmother

Many years ago, Uncle Max, my father’s brother, worked up a start of a family genealogy. To this day, it is the most comprehensive look at a side of the family that includes 13 children in my father’s generation, and lots of mysteries in earlier ones.

Until recently, I didn’t even know what my great-grandmother looked like until I stumbled across her photo in a distant family member’s genealogy of her branch of my family, that of another uncle.


She was my paternal grandmother’s mother. My paternal grandfather’s mother…? I don’t know if there is an image of her. Anyway, of this great-grandmother, Uncle Max learned this:

great grandma

This typed account, with all of Uncle Max’s eccentric spellings and typos, now is a treasured family document. It was a basis for Uncle John and Uncle Milt’s quest to Salem, Missouri, and Cambridge, Nebraska, (where their father first moved to find a job on the railroad) to find family graves and information about the family in local museums and libraries.

To the best of my knowledge, they never found family graves in Salem, and a flood of the Republican River in May 1935 wiped out many graves and public records in Cambridge.

On the other hand, the local paper (The Cambridge Kaleidoscope when Grandpa Thomas’ sister’s husband owned and ran it) still exists as the Cambridge Clarion.

If you want a copy at the office, you help yourself, and there’s a box by the stack where, on your honor, you put the price of the paper! It is a small town, but, clearly, a very nice one, too, one it’s nice to know I have some small connection with!


10 thoughts on “Post 622: my paternal great-grandmother

        • It is especially noticeable in how they smile or hold themselves. It is uncanny! My initial reaction to the photo of my Great-grandmother Honey was it was a photo of my Grandmother Thomas, her daughter, that I’d never seen before. I think that was why it was so shocking when I realized who it was.

  1. Looking into our past can be very fascinating. There is a great percent of my past that no one ever talks about and any questions are hushed right up. This is my paternal grandfather….there is hardly a trace of him in print either. Sad! We shall never know.


    • There are things families often don’t talk about that should be brought up: alcoholism, genetically-connected diseases, causes for divorces (without taking sides), any and all things that help the next generation understand the good things about their family as well as those that might impact them later on in life. I think there were more hidden skeletons in the old days (homosexuality, adultery, alcoholism, memberships in the KKK, etc. – you know, the standard family skeletons! Ha!)

    • One of the things that’s fun about Andy and Dougy is I know their history. I’ve met their Mommy, an auntie, and a step-sister. I know what their father looked like (like their auntie and step sister). I met Andy at five weeks of age, and Dougy when he was somewhat older, but still a very young kitten. Then, there was Louie, the ginger cat, the boys’ predecessor. He was a wonderful cat, but I got him at age five (estimated by his veterinarian). I think it would have been a wonderful gift to have had him from kittenhood instead of wondering where he came from and why he ended up in the shelter as a stray when he clearly was a special and very well-mannered cat. I still think about that.

      That said, I can only imagine how frustrating it has to be for someone who was adopted not to know anything about their own personal history. There was wonderful movie made about that very topic, based on a true story, about an English woman who was forced to give up her son at an early age and how she tried to track him down decades later. Dame Judy Dench played the woman, and it was a moving, heart-warming story of love and persistence. The film: I highly recommend it, if she hasn’t seen it yet

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