I started researching my family tree at the age of 20, much younger than most get bitten by the genealogy bug. I don't know what the big draw was to find out where I'd come from but my interest was piqued by my paternal grandfather. He often spoke of Mother, my great grandmother. Great Grammie died when I was 4. Lots of people never know grandparents, so I was very fortunate to have known a great grandparent. She lived on the first floor of the same house we lived in, and I remember her.
One particularly strong memory I have was when my grandfather was bringing me home from the hospital after having my tonsils removed. It was raining and he had me wrapped in a blanket on his shoulder. Great Grammie met us on the doorstep. I distinctly remember their exchange about me. She must have died soon after that.
I just finished a six-week class about real estate title searching, sort of another kind of genealogy. Most probably know that when a piece of real estate is sold or transferred, a search of the title is done by a title examiner or attorney. This search is almost always done in person but many municipalities now have their land evidence records online.
The first thing I did when I found these records were available online was to look at the various recordings of documents associated with the house I grew up in. I was never certain when the house was built but it looks like it was in the 1850's. I do know that it had been owned by my family since about 1905. My father was the fourth generation to own the house. He sold it in 1996 before I had the chance to be the fifth.
As I went through document after document of mortgages, liens, and deeds for the property, I became a bit melancholy seeing signatures of my grandparents and my father, all gone. Then I came upon a reference to a Nora B. Lewis. It had to be my great grandmother.
But Great Grammie's name wasn't Lewis! I know her maiden name did begin with a "B" but I have a copy of her death certificate, and she had my great grandfather's last name. The only conclusion I can draw is that after my great grandfather's death in 1926, she must have remarried, but I don't know where or to whom.
I went to my mother and she didn't know the answer. Although these are her inlaws, my mother has been part of that family since she was 16 so it seems she would have heard something. My grandparents, my father and my aunt are all gone. I have no one to go to for an answer. I could probably do some research and try to find an answer but it's not going to be easy as she lived in at least four states over the course of her life.
I think I have a couple first cousins once removed still alive but I'm not sure. Finding them is going to be a challenge but I'm going to try.
I sure do wish I had talked more to my grandparents when they were here.
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