Longevity – Week 3

This is week #3 of Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” blog prompt series.

This #52Ancestors topic was a difficult one for me.  At first, I thought of the obvious: Who lived the longest?  And while that does address the topic, it’s not exactly “stop-the-presses” material.  But when I thought about my own research, I realized the answer to that question is the also the same person who was married the longest, and has lived in the same home for the longest period of time.  And that is truly something.

Longevity – Life

My paternal grandmother just turned 95 years old a few months ago.  Born in Yankton, South Dakota in 1922, she has seen a lot of life.  She experienced historic events from the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War II to more recent events like the moon landing, the Kennedy Assassination, and 9/11.  She saw the the Berlin wall go up … and subsequently come down.

Longevity – Marriage

My grandparents were married in 1944, while Grampa was in the service.  When my grandfather passed away in 2011 they had been married 67 years.  During that time they saw the birth of 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren (another one was just born a few months ago!).   They saw sickness and health, good times and bad times, and throughout it all I am certain that they were just as in love at the end as they were in the beginning.

Longevity – Residence

Several years after my grandparents married and my grandfather was discharged from the service, they moved with 4 of their children to Oregon and bought a home.  The house had been vacant for about a year and they paid $8,000 for it (the equivalent of around $75,000 today).  When they moved in, the only furnishings they had were two dressers left behind from the previous owners and the beds they brought with them. They had to hook up the neighbor’s hose in order to have some running water (and then everything started leaking).  Fortunately, my grandfather was a contractor with carpentry and masonry skills, so he was able to fix pretty much anything.  My grandmother still lives in that home, 64 years later.

Here’s to hoping that stick-to-it-iveness is an inherited trait!

Favorite Photo – Week 2

This is week #2 of Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” blog prompt series.

I may have used this photo in a blog post before, but I can’t help it.  As soon as I read this week’s prompt, this photo immediately popped into my head.  It is a photo of my paternal grandparents, Ed Lanctot and Maxine Slowey, when they were dancing at a picnic with some of Grampa’s friends from the service.  I just love how happy and  in love they look in this photo!

I think this photo was taken after they were married, and may have been when they passed through Yankton on their way to Ft. Snelling in Minnesota from Ft. Sill in Oklahoma around 1945.  Grampa was discharged from the service shortly after arriving at Ft. Snelling.  He served three years in the Southwest Pacific (northern Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines).

“Start” (again) – Week 1

So here we are.  Again.

After being away from my research for a little over a year, I’m back at it.

I thought a good place to start would be Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” blog prompts.  This is the prompt for week 1 “Start” … and I’m already late.  Good to know some things never change.

It’s hard figuring out where you left off.  It’s a good thing I was in the middle of the Genealogy Do-Over (pay no attention to the fact that it’s year #3)!  I’m currently working on renaming my grandfather’s documents and entering those and all the information into RootsMagic and Evidentia.  I’m trying to remember to write down my questions as I come across them so I can create a research plan for each.  I’ve re-subscribed to some paid websites, but I’ve vowed only to use them to create a research plan for now.  No rabbit holes for me! (wink wink, nudge nudge)

Here we go.  Ancestor #1 – John Joseph Gallagher (aka Joseph Smith).  This is my maternal grandfather.  He was born in Manhattan in 1924, abandoned at the hospital, and turned over to the Foundling Hospital.  He was adopted in 1928.  He is also the person who got me started in genealogy by trying to discover his own history.  He died in 1990, and we still have no idea who his biological parents are.  I’m hoping that soon the legislators in New York state will see fit to change the law that keeps adoption records sealed for eternity.

I was able to get Y-DNA from my uncle (at the time, my grandfather’s only living male descendant), so I just keep watching and waiting for a significant match that might crack the case.  Patience isn’t my strong suit.

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep plugging away at getting my files reorganized and move on to week #2.