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Laura Lou
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

postheadericon Amazing Break #2

While rummaging through things for my Lifebook for my paternal grandmother, I idly leafed through my father's baby book.  I knew about it and knew my grandmother had kept good records of my dad's early life, but did any of it pertain to HER early adulthood.  There in the back was something I had never noticed before...the newspaper article about her wedding.

It looks as if she glued the article into the book with mucilage and then covered it with cellophane tape.  The tape fell off as soon as I opened the book, taking some of the article with it.  I have reconstructed the text the best I can.  Every time I study it I work out another word or so.

postheadericon Amazing Breakthrough #1



We talk about "Brick Walls" all the time when we have a need for a piece of information that just doesn't seem to exist.  My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather presents one of those Brick Walls for a whole slew of genealogists out there who are among his descendants.  He and his children seem to have been very prolific, with families of 12 to 17 children common.  I seem to run into these descendants on almost every big genealogy site and all have the same question..."Where did Newman Scarlett come from?"  Some of these genealogist-descendants are quite professional and advanced.

Well, I still don't have that answer but I WAS able to add to his story.  Years ago I set up several "Google Alerts".  I receive an email whenever a particular term shows up in a news story or website.  My two home towns, in Michigan and in Florida, and my "brick wall" ancestor's name.  What alerts I get usually are entertainment news with the names of actor Paul Newman next to fellow actor, Scarlett Johansson.  A couple of weeks ago, however, my ancestor's name was in an article from his town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts.  The newly formed historical society was setting about to photograph historic sites in their midst.  The first to be photographed was my ancestor's farm.  I immediately contacted a distant cousin who seems to be the most involved with the genealogy of our family.  Even she was not aware of the existence of the farm.  Several of us have now joined the new Historic Society and hope to visit and preserve the farmhouse, presently being considered for demolition.  My brother and I hope to visit Tewksbury this spring and look for a few other gems and take our own photos.  Of particular interest will be the possible existence of the old city hall and his clerk's office where he died behind his desk.  I also would like to locate the old map of the town he helped draw and design, and any old papers in his handwriting.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is not a real magazine cover but a fun way I chose to display two photos of my mother's parents' home in Detroit at the turn of the century. Mother remembered much of the furniture, but the only thing I recognize is the Tabourette (little table under the Norfolk Island Pine plant between the couch and the left rocker) because it was mine for a few years until it fell apart. Yes, I am very sorry I didn't repair it and keep it.
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I just love this portrait of my grandmother's sister, Minnie Scarlett Garver. The photographer's last name is the same as the man Great-Aunt Minnie married at about this same time. It makes me really wonder what the relationship was.
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These two pages are also timelines but these are of my Great-great-great-great Grandfather (first-born son of the previous ancestor) personal and historical events during his life.
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These two pages show how history and my Great-great-great-great-great grandfather's personal milestones work together. I think it almost gives me a picture of his life.
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The object behind this layout was to get the story written. I am the only person alive who knows this story and it had to be preserved. Mom told me about these photos many times. When I discovered that Dad still carried one of the pictures in his wallet in the nursing home, it made an impression I want to pass on.

Journaling reads: "All the while my mother was growing up, her family had at least one professional portrait taken of each family member each year. Her high school graduation coincided with the Great Depression, and that photograph was the last taken until Mom and Dad were engaged, years later. For Dad’s birthday in May, the month before their wedding, Mom went to a well-known portrait photographer. He was taken with her look and asked her to pose for him, and he would give her a set of portraits free. This was one of the “head shots”. A large copy hung on a bedroom wall back as far as I can remember. A tattered smaller one was in Dad’s wallet until he died at age 89. This and several other poses came to me and I will preserve it for future generations."
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