Back in the dark misty times...

Back in the dark misty times...
Genealogy, joyfully discovered ~

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Surprising TRUNKFUL of ancestral pictures ~

This week has been wild and busy as I paint, paint, paint and think about how I wish I was at my desk doing genealogy research and calling long-long family members. In the midst of all the chaos, I received a phone call as I stood on the porch, paint roller in hand….. from cousin Linda telling me she’d found a cache of pictures in an old box and had a trunk that might have others. I was quite beyond excitement and we shared some excitement at the prospect.

Pictures of Uncle Gus as a young man, Uncle Joe, Grandma (her Aunt Manuela), Aunt Mary and so many others. Some group pictures, some photographs and some snapshots. The wonder of it all was more than I could take in and I wanted to toss the paint roller and run to check my email where she’d sent them to me moments earlier.

But, my painting project called. I must say I made a dusty path inside once I was done for the day, and found her wonderful pictures on 10 emails from her that I just couldn’t get enough of. Then she called to say she opened the trunk! Oh my ~ Our excitement was over the top. The photographs she found thrilled both of us and it made me wonder how many other descendants had boxes of pictures they’ve forgotten about? Old musty trunks filled with letters, papers and pictures? What would jog the old people’s memories for the stories I desired so badly?
Linda was so kind as to lay out all the wonderful pictures on the trunk and take a picture of the display for me. It was truly over the moon as far as I was concerned as I started calculating how I could use them in my SILVAN LEAVES book and I am again in the throes of genealogy.
Oh, and the porch is done at last so I can get back to the good stuff.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The genealogy quest has been slow going as life and painting has clogged up the wheels. However, since I promised myself phone calls were a must, I called a new cousin today named Anthony Martin, Jr. who lives in my city of birth! What a delightful gentleman. He told me stories of my grandfather and my great grandfather as well as listed his siblings and promised to give me the traditional recipes for crocked olives and Spanish roasted peppers! He said the seeds were brought from Spain and he's still keeping that tradition alive. He offered his home as a B&B when I'm in town next time as if he'd known me all my life. What fun it is to connect.

The next wonderful thing Anthony gave to me was his sister's name and phone number in Oregon who has worked on the Ruiz family line but hit a brick wall. Well, I called her and we are dancing together to jump the brick wall together hand in hand. She and I will try to fill in the blanks on each of our files. And she has eMail to boot.

So, I'm back in the running and wish my painting was finished but alas! The deck still isn't finished. Why didn't someone slap me when I offered to paint 1400 square feet of deck, I ask? Because why? It does look mighty nice though..... but it cuts into my genealogy time. Oh, and then there is the new book I bought to help me on my quest...SECRETS OF TRACING YOUR ANCESTORS by W. Daniel Quillen. The author is going to email me template forms! Wow. I am a happy girl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Quest for Spanish cousins

It seems as if my list of family names gets longer with less check marks to confirm a completed Request...
Today I see a full-page 8 1/2 x 11 page filled with names of Silvan and Ruiz descendants, the information I hope to receive from them, the date I requested and any or no response in the last column. Gridlock. Dead end. Brick wall. Stress. Frustration. Disappointment. And more stress. Brain cramps.

And then the light is aflame. Plan B awaits. I listed phone numbers by each name. I will call them, tossing out email or USPS letter routes and exchange them for real conversation. I've been cautious and pensive about begging for family history information in story form, pictures, documents and anything else I can get..... because I didn't want to be a pest. But I think they may like me to be a pest... One cousin asked me to send questions and she would answer and return the form to me as it would be easier for her. A novel concept. Phone calls, definitely --- like an interview. People open up and are happy to talk about loved ones. The minute they have to put something on paper, they clog up.

And that light brightened yesterday. On the Ruiz side, I have received information, names and a phone number of cousins from my birth town in California. I was there in July and again, I didn't ask the right questions! I did not know these cousins existed. My mind-boggled brain needs to have some of that smart stuff fizzle its way down to its thought center!

For now, I refuse to remain in limbo. I will call, call and call again. I will be a pest, pester and pester again. I must move Grandma around in Hawaii and get her teenage years into young adulthood... so stories and pictures are required. I have 160 pages written and hope for a 220 volume by the time my book is finished. There. I'm all happy again.