Sunday, August 30, 2009

Genealogy Headache

Yesterday my husband, Phil, and I went down to Brownsville, Ore, for a family reunion. I'd not been to one in years. I didn't even know who I was looking for when we got to the park. So I ventured out at the covered pavilion and asked if that was the Childers reunion and it was. I spoke to Jim, who was just calling people to come eat. We got there at the right time! He introduced me as a newcomer to the reunion and a lady said "she looks just like her mother." Well, not quite like my mom but there's a resemblance.

This reunion was on my dad's (Paul) side of the family. Grandma Hattie was a sister to most of the other people's grandfather,Chester. I met Marcella who is the last living daughter of Chester and Edna. She was in good physical condition and even took a picture of me on her film camera! She came with her daughters from Washington state.

My cousin, Dave, was there. He was a year behind me and his sister, Helen, in high school. His older sister was there as well. Darlene went to school with my older brother. She just figured out after all these years why they greeted each other as " Hi coz". Our grandma and her grandfather were brother and sister. Small world. When we were kids, I guess we just forgot how we were related or didn't care!

It was interesting to look at photos and trace the line of genealogy from my great grandparents that lived in the mid 1800s. Great grandpa Hiriam's photo showed him sitting by a stack of wood. Somebody said he's probably tired cuz he cut all that wood. Or because he had to go in the house to his wife, Annette. She didn't look cheerful in that photo but who did in those days? You had to sit so still to get you picture taken by a slow shutter camera. According to the biography written by a great aunt, Annette held the family together while Hiriam was gone doing work and later investigating different religions. I commend her for caring for 10 children.

I have a copy of the biography now. Quite an interesting read. Definitely will make copies to give to siblings and my children. We need to keep these stories alive. It's amazing all these people accomplished with no modern conveniences of our day. No electricity. Clothes were made by hand or machine. Meals prepared daily and bread made in your own kitchen. It causes me to stop and think how much time I waste now and what I could do besides being on my computer so much or watching tv. I do part time work outside the home. A woman my age back then usually worked at home, all day. Sometimes I miss just being at home but God's given me a good job which we need right now. Life has changed so much.

At one point, when Phil and I were looking thru genealogy and trying to absorb it all, I decided I had enough. I needed to get up and consume some chocolate cake. After awhile most of the lineage became clear. Then I had to explain it to a few other people. How are we related? :0)

We took a different route on the way home. We planned to stop and see the Thompson flour mill my dad used to work at in Shedd. It's now an Oregon State Park/Historic Site. We got there a bit after 4 PM, which was closing time. Rats! But I got out and took a photo of the mill. I talked to the lady that was just coming from the building. Park is open all year from 9-4 except Christmas and New Years. It's not that far to go for a weekend day trip. I've been there when my dad worked there but I want to see it again. It was run by a waterwheel, powered by a mill race that is adjacent to the Calapooia River. Park guide told me an interesting story about the mill race and why they can't use it when showing people around. By contractual rights, they have to run electricity to make the waterwheel run.

It was a nice day of overcast sky. Not hot. Good company. Bulging brain cells from pondering on geneology so long. It's good to learn about our past and get a feeling of who we are in the world. We are a people who God loves very much.

1 comment:

gahome2mom said...

Oh, what fun! Giggles. :)