Friday, December 24, 2010

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus!

Whilst the rest of my friends ran around visiting Santa and doing all the 'traditional' Christmas week preparations...I was in a funk. Besides Grammy, I can feel a bout of Meniere's brewing, I forgot my alphabet and let the letters N & O disappear resulting in my being committed to help in a huge sewing project under a time crunch [more in a future post on this!], the loss of N & O have also meant that I had to make time to go to our local conservatory twice in as many days to be the subject of and photographer of  family Christmas pictures [also to be covered in a future post!], and my children being off of school means drastically less computer time for Mom!! My adoption friends will understand when I say, it felt like that period in the PGN blackhole when you felt like you had given all you could give and were getting no cooperation in return and there were those tiny lapses where you had doubt that a PINK was ever going to be produced...and you get dark and jaded about the motives behind everyone and everything associated with the adoption. In short....I had ZERO Christmas spirit!

Then today, as I'm in a house rocking from the rafters with the sound of SIX little girls playing at full volume and three sewing machines humming, clacking, and generally contributing to my hearing losses...the mailman arrived. Well it was actually so loud today that I didn't really hear him come at all. Patrick coming home from work found his delivery in the box as he came up on the porch. Churlish as I was by that point, I waved Patrick off as he approached with the big manilla envelop in his hand. I thought is was more of his Medicare and insurance literature that has been jamming our box of late [he has a big birthday looming too!].

Did I ever mention what a KEEPER my Patrick is? A true saint. He picked up on my mood rather quickly and just set it down on a table and walked away. He knows me well. He knew I'd give the return address a look-see as soon as I walked in the vicinity of the table. He knew it was all good and he left it and walked away....

Remember when I first posted this picture?

Remember any of the story?

The road blocks I had hit in my genealogy of late have not exactly been helping the mood either! I rather thought I had pushed them far enough back to not be all that big of a deal. I did what I call a "Hail Mary" move...this was taken in 1917 in Butte, Montana by my grandfather. It was simply labeled with the man's name...nickname to be exact. No other identifying information and no way to know how he was related other than he had one of the family's last names. I took this picture and several of the others and I e-mailed them. I Googled Butte, Montana Genealogy and copied a few sites down and I e-mailed the pictures with a request for any information anyone may have on the pictures.

A little brighter in color and a lot more worn but 15 East Center still stands!!!

That manilla envelop contained a rather extensive packet from the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives. The registered owner in 1917 was indeed the gentleman pictured! He ran a saloon and worked as Deputy Sheriff [a very Irish combination!!] and was the treasurer of the local Ancient Order of Hibernians! He had at least 4 children who carry very common family names! The researcher apologized for offering so LITTLE documentation and promised to keep searching but just didn't want me to think my request was being ignored!!!!! I mean REALLY???? The awe in knowing that my grandfather stood in this very same home in 1917....I'm overwhelmed!!!

I'm generally a rather naive and trusting person by nature. The politics of dental school and international adoption have jaded me a bit. I now question everyone's 'motives'. I had that moment as I leafed through pages of phone book listings covering many years and as I looked at his death certificate when I wondered just why the researcher would do this for me. Just as I decided it must be for the money I get to an invoice....$35 dollars....for how many hours of researching the files???.... for driving out and photographing the house???.... for securing a death certificate [which alone costs $15 here in Illinois!!!] and for making sure these were all packaged up and sent off to me to receive just in time to revive my Christmas spirit?? I mean PRICELESS!!!!!!

I am in a much better mood tonight! Tempered just a teeny, tiny bit by the fact that the death certificate had some depressing he died on December 2, 1917?!? Just months after my grandfather took this picture he was gone...dead and buried before the album was even put together! Oh and the other slightly bumming bit of information...according to his son [who provided the information on the certificate] he was not who I was hoping he would be...his parents names do not appear in my tree....just yet! I'm sure he's related. Only a matter of time until I find out how.


  1. little by little, the discoveries are made. that is what the journey is about -- that's what makes it all worthwhile. I think if someone handed it all t you at once, with no detective work, some of the joy and treasure would be lost. So good work. and I'm sure you'll find another link. Merry Christmas!!!

  2. So glad you got this info for Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all!!!

  3. wow that is just aweosme, hope you can piece all the info together!