Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Living in a Small Town

I don't talk often about my personal life on here, other than the work I'm doing for Uncle Jerome. I guess that I don't want to draw attention to myself, which, ironically through this blog I am doing just that. However, anyone can see that I'm trying to promote Uncle Jerome, and not myself. I could spend every day talking about my mundane searching on the Internet for more clues to my family history. I could also spend every day writing about my family at home and things that have nothing to do with Uncle Jerome. But I choose not to. I don't think it would add much to my blog. It's all really just a balancing act anyway. My blog is not popular, it's not advertised (that I know of). It has been mentioned in the articles I've co-authored in Ireland and Western Australia, but even so it has not gained a lot of traffic. I'm not trying to put my blog down, either. I created this blog for me, to keep me in check and on the right path, and as a by-product you all get to read.

So, with "reading" in mind, I want to mention the Aurora Public Library, especially one librarian in particular who has been helping me dig and find books that I need which are relevant to Uncle Jerome. She took an interest because her husband has an Irish connection. The library is small, very quaint and fresh with a home town feel. No one gets snubbed or treated with an attitude; I mention this because just this past month I contacted other libraries out on the east coast for my research and I got treated just the opposite. Would you believe that even a church in New York told me the message I wanted to leave was too long and that I had to call back? Two facilities finally contacted me (one after I had been egging them for at least 3 months) and told me they were BOTH closing for renovations and that I was unable to get my hands on the documents I so very much needed in order to fill in the gaps about Uncle Jerome. It wasn't a total failure, and there were back up sources that we found. At any rate, it's hard dealing with libraries out of state over the phone, I just don't get the personal attention that I get from my home town library. My local library understands what I am trying to achieve, and they have gone above and beyond to find things for me even without my request. I think it's nice, actually. Try getting that type of personal attention from a huge library somewhere else.

With the anticipation of documents to arrive, I took the liberty to discover more of my family roots. Actually, my husband's family roots. I was able to help out my mother-in-law and father-in-law last month. They didn't know much about their family, and the little they knew left them with a semi-bad taste in their mouths to not want to know more. This is understandable. I had the pleasure to change all that after speaking with them both and asking if there was anything in particular they wanted to know about their family. For my mother-in-law, she was curious about her father, seems as if her and her siblings knew next to nothing about him. Thanks to my digging, I found the place where he was born and I also discovered that he was a WWI veteran. No one knew this, not even my mother-in-law; so with this knowledge she will now try and approach the local Veteran's office as her father was never buried with honours. I even stumbled across the names of her grandparents of whom she never knew.

As for my father-in-law, he had some great stories to tell about his Grandfather. But the buck stopped there. He didn't really know much about him and assumed that he came over off the boat from the "Old Country". Again, I dug, and found this was not the case. My father-in-law's Grandfather's Great Grandfather was actually the one who came over from the "old country", and after digging for a day I added on 3 more generations to the family tree of which he really knew nothing about prior to this. So it was a great feeling for me to help my in-laws discover their roots, and to give them a new found sense of pride of where they came from. They both had a spring in their step and their opinions of their families changed to a positive outlook. Genealogy can be a great tool, it's something I truly enjoy doing.

I have been meaning to post a video of the wreath laying ceremony for a few months now. Obviously I haven't gotten to it yet, and when it does get done, that terrible buzzing noise which I mentioned in my post from that day will be audible on the video. So it might prove to be an annoying distraction, but nonetheless I will still try and upload it for all to see.

I ran across a few more nice discoveries as did Ronnie on his side of the pond. I just need to get my hands on some microfilm and I think I should be set and ready to write my portion of the book. I've concentrated all my efforts on the hunting and gathering of research, and will write after my portion of the research has been found to my satisfaction, which should be in the next two months.
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, and our house is all lit up with green lights, the Ireland and Cork flag are once again hanging off our front deck. I even came home with a shamrock plant for myself today, and a "Leprechaun Toes" plant for my mom which she loved.

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