22 March 2012

A source I hadn't thought of before

Jessie Mack's Wedding Guest Book
photo courtesy of Nancy L. Hall

Listed on the page above (the ones I know, and in relation to me) are: Harold Dean Mack (grandfather), Burton A. Mack (great-grandfather), Blanche E. Mack (grandmother), Ethel S. Mack (wife of Aubrey B. Mack, (grand uncle), Minnie D. Mack (great grand aunt), Ethel M. Sparks (grand aunt) Willard Sparks (husband of Ethel), Robert Sparks (1st cousin 1x removed). 

For reasons known only to my inner self, I grew up as a virtual hermit. I know I had a family, a mother and a father, an older brother and a younger sister. I grew up surrounded by my mother's family. I have a handful of memories - happy ones mostly - of all of them. That is what it feels like - I hopefully have a lot more locked up inside somewhere). If I wrote a book today about my life growing up it would indeed be a short one, composed mostly of vignettes.

(Skipping over a lot of stuff) 

I don't have memories of people I never met, but I do have knowledge of them. Take my father's family for instance. I "know" them by names and dates. I have met some of them, but I think I can count the times on just my hands, and most of them on one hand. Who knows why? Does it even matter now?

The important part of this is that I am so very grateful to the people who have entered my life at this stage, who know and share my greater family. Some very good and generous people. While some are pretty distantly related, others are pretty closely related. Others are not related at all, but whose family members knew my family members.

All it takes is a little thread that meets at a certain connecting point with another little thread. Whether by design, or by chance, we have connected.

One of my favorite connections is my grandfather's sister's grand-daughter. She is a veritable fountain of family information and I cannot wait to meet her in person! I got inspired one day to ask if she had any family photos. Did she ever! I now have photo's of my great-grandfather Burton Augustus Mack (wish I had known him!) and some of my grandfather's siblings and their families. (I don't know who has my father's family photos. Wish I did. Do you?) So, Nancy - hurry up and get on Skype!

The new source of family information: the Wedding Guest book. I am fortunate to have my mother's mother's Wedding book. Sadly, no pictures, but I do have a clipping or two, a piece of the veil, the names of the some of the attending guests. Last summer, while visiting my cousin in Connecticut, I found out she had the wedding dress! Why do I never think to ask these things???

Thank you Nancy! Thank you Susie!


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