Throwback Thursday # 59 No One Else Would Know

My turn at the helm this week. I hope you enjoy responding to the topic.

I’ve had my Ancestry membership for many years. Spitting into a tube (which made me gag) was the first step to find out more about where I came from. While Ancestry provides wonderful insights into your heritage, I’d like you to think about stories shared through the generations.

If you care to join in, it’s easy.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Passing on the Stories
I’ll provide some questions to help you along. You can always free write if you’d rather.

1) Did you have multiple family generations nearby when growing up?
2) What are some of the earliest family stories you remember hearing?
3) Did your parents tell you the story about how they met? Did you share with your children your own love story?
4) Did aunts, uncles, or grandparents ever share embarrassing stories about your parents when they were children? Were the stories fictionalized or factual?
5) Did your parents or siblings ever tell your kids embarrassing stories from your youth?
6) Were there tales you wish you had asked your parents or grandparents, but never did? What would you like to have asked them?
7) If you had a magical way to speak to a deceased relative, what would you most like to ask them?
8) Do you share stories about your time growing up with your children or grandchildren? Is there something you don’t want to be lost when you are no longer in this realm?
9) Have you ever done research to find out more facts about your lineage? Did you ever find anything surprising?
10) Have you kept journals, records, or important information about your family, that you want to be handed down for future generations?

My response follows:

I had no extended family living close by when I was growing up. My paternal grandparents and aunt and uncle lived about an hour and a half away. I didn’t get to know my aunt and uncle until my grandparents were no longer able to drive to us. Then my uncle would drive them out or drive us home after my mom dropped us off for a visit.

My grandfather’s stories were mostly about leaving New York to follow the Dodgers to California. To say that he was a fan, is a major understatement. My grandfather was a highly spiritual man, but not a man of many words.

I remember as a fairly young child asking about my grandfather’s name. I was told that he changed his name for business reasons and kept his former surname as a middle name. My mom’s version was that his surname was too ethnic and that’s why he changed it. I can’t say I understood why anyone would want to change their name.

My mom often told me the story about my grandfather, her father-in-law, saving our family when the city she was living in was flooded. I was a newborn, and my mom was recovering from a difficult birth. She had no way to get groceries for us. My grandfather traveled a great distance to bring supplies. He waded through knee deep dirty water in his suit, tie, and hat to take care of us. It is no wonder that I still feel he was a hero.

My mother told me the story of meeting my bio-dad when I was a newlywed at 18. I asked because there had been too many stepdads in my life. She told me about marrying the rebound man (bio-dad) instead of the love of her life. It was a sad, sad tale. I did tell my kids about meeting their dad and how much trouble their parents gave us.

My mom’s parents lived 3,000 miles away and there was rarely any contact from them. There was no one to share stories of her growing up. As an adult, I connected with my mom’s sister. She shared many stories about the difficult childhood my mom endured.

One of my grandparent’s favorite stories about me as a two-year-old child was when I was in a highchair at a Passover dinner. As the story goes, I was sitting watching all the adults reading the Haggadah and reciting prayers. After a short while, I was bored and hungry. I picked up my spoon and fork and started banging them on the metal tray attached to the highchair. In addition, at the top of my lungs I repeatedly shouted, “I want food.” After a moment of shock, everyone laughed.

My mom did tell my kids some stories of my youth. I wasn’t much of a dare devil so there wasn’t much to tell. She did tell my kids about the time I ran away. The funny part to me was that she left out the reason for my trek. I never did explain that detail to them.

As an adult, after seeing the pictures of my grandparents when they were dating, I had tons of questions. I wish I had had the opportunity to ask each of them about their courtship and wedding. I wish I could have talked to my grandfather about his childhood too. I have a special picture from his youth.

I didn’t even know my grandmother had a sister until I was an adult. I met her after my grandmother passed away. It was spooky seeing her, looking so much like my grandmother. No stories were ever shared about other family members. I wish there had been more communication.

I’ve shared only some of my memories with my children. Unfortunately, there aren’t many good ones. I tried to raise my children in a completely different way than I was raised. I have pictures to remind them of some very fun times.

I spent a great deal of time on Ancestry post retirement. I found relatives back 20 generations on my mother’s father’s side. My maternal grandfather changed his name and I hit a brick wall finding any more info. I was surprised at all the available dates and facts I found. Unfortunately, some names are merely misinformation plugged in the wrong place.

I have yet to print out all the things I have found. My kids have no interest. I still should have it available in case my grandkids feel differently.  

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23 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday # 59 No One Else Would Know

  1. Both sets of grandparents lived with us when I was a child. Some of the most interesting stories I heard was from my husband’s grandmother. At Grant and gatherings my father and his brother-in-law’s would tell these really funny stories about when they work together building things, their adventures, etc. any time the family get together had many stories passed around and they were usually funny. We all have a sense of humor that has gotten us by. My folks did share how they met and I’ve shared how I met my husband with my kids and grandkids. I’m pretty open about all of our experiences. Yes there are always embarrassing stories brought up at gatherings, it’s part of family. My sister does ancestry and it’s very interesting. We often say that we wished our mother was alive so that she could realize how her heritage happened.

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