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You can't pick your relatives

February 25th, 2018 at 11:45 am

Like many states in the Midwest, we have had plenty of rain and gloomy days this past week. The sun is out and although it is cool, it looks to be a lovely day. I know people at church were talking about their attitudes changing because the sun had appeared.

It's been an interesting week on the genealogy front. I had the opportunity to spend over an hour at the library in the local history room using the free local paper archives. I discovered a few more tidbits from my family. My mom always acted like my dad’s side of the family wasn’t very good. Yet, from what I’ve figured out so far, my dad’s side a couple of generations back, did have some wealth and prestige. His mom and her parents and siblings came to American in 1902 from England and located to Albany, Georgia. Why there of all places, I have no idea. And how they wound up in Decatur, Illinois, is another story I will never know. But I guess when they were in England, they did have some money and a fancy home. But, things got tough here in America for them and hard scrabble would be an accurate description.

My mom has a couple of generations here in America before her. My great grandfather was arrested for stealing brass from the Wabash Railroad which is where he worked. My grandfather was arrested as a teenager for being in an east side of Decatur gang. My grandmother was arrested for shoplifting in the 1920s. My mom was arrested for disorderly conduct in the 1940s. Kind of sad to learn this, although this was way before my time. As they say, you can’t pick your relatives.

Another thing I discovered was that many of the relatives on my mom’s side were railroaders. Two cousins a time or two removed who were brothers worked for Wabash and one saw the other crushed between two rail cars as he was trying to hitch them together. That had to be horrendous.

Dh teased me I was a cheap date for a Saturday. I was happy to go to the library, check out a couple of books (I scored the last Sue Grafton!), and then spend time doing some research. He spent the time in the children's section finding books to read out loud to the classes he reads to each week. We came home and I spent a couple of hours updating the family tree. I fixed supper and we spent the evening at home.

On the knitting front, we have 135 hats made so far in 2018. The church ladies are teasing me they are hoping to get to 1000 by the end of the year. Wouldn't that be something?

Every fall I try to purchase some name brand chicken noodle soup to have on hand in case one or both of us get sick. That seems to be a comfort food for each of us if we have colds or sinus infections. I try to catch it on sale and use a coupon and that's what I did last fall. So far, we haven't need to eat much of it. So, I'm going to heat some of it up with sandwiches for supper tonight.

5 Responses to “You can't pick your relatives ”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    What interesting info you are learning!

  2. Wink Says:

    My 2 frugal best friends and I often joke about the "cheap fun" we have and that we would probably break out in a cold sweat if we went out on an expensive date!

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    I have learned some unsavory things about my family during geneaology research as well. My mother's father and his brothers served time in state prison for racketeering and related offenses. They were basically gangsters in NYC.

    I don't blame them. I only know a tiny sliver of the story, and it's too easy to analyze today from where I sit.

  4. Bluebird Says:

    We've had a lot of rain here too, but occasionally some sun shines through! I'm so excited for Spring! Great job on the genealogy...very interesting and fun! I can't believe you ladies have made 135 hats already!!! I was in Decatur for work in 2008, and I distinctly remember the smell of soybean crops 😀

  5. rob62521 Says:

    It has been interesting. I found out when my maternal's grandmother's family lived in England, they had a live in maid!

    Bluebird, we still have the smell of soybean and corn processing here in Decatur and some say it is the smell of money.

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