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Family Haves and Have-Knots

It’s God-awful-late on a Saturday night and I’m awake. Again.

Well, it’s actually Sunday morning now, almost time for me to get up if I were on my regular work schedule. My own fault, too. I wanted to sleep in yesterday morning but the other half wanted to go to yard sales. It’s a big deal to him so I hauled my butt out of bed and off we went. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, though, or something like that. In other words, I came home and was out cold for several hours after. It’s become an imperative any more. Yay, murky-diagnosis autoimmune crap!

The book cometh along, albeit slowly. My grandson Little Guy, is here and wants his grandma time. I love him to pieces, but I’m ready for him and his mommy to move out. I would love to have time to write without stopping to play video games with the baby. (Who has taken to informing us that he’s not a baby, he’s “almost a man.” At the ripe old age of 3.)

The Atlantis AffairI did some overhauling, including the title, which is still subject to change. After a quick run through Fotalia to buy my background image, I think I found something suitably archaeological in tone. Adding in a tagline of sorts should make a nice creepy way to capture attention, doncha think?

Yes, this story WILL be creepy, though not gory. I’ve written gory before and it’s not necessary to creep you right the heck out. Think back to the early scary movies. There was no blood and gore in them, but they scared the bejesus out of people. It’s all about pricking the imagination and letting it fill in the blanks.

Also editing the first book for print, and sobbing at the number of errors I’m still finding, starting on Page 1. Yes, really. In spite of two other people going through and editing with me.

All this fun highlights how critical it is to have someone else go over your work before you throw it out to the masses. Imagine how many errors there would’ve been if I HADN’T had two other sets of eyes looking through the manuscript???

In other non-news, I’ve been on an ancestor hunt of late, trying to dig up history that goes back more than one generation. To this day I can’t tell you my maternal grandfather’s first name, for example. He died before I was born. I’ve gotten three or four different answers and pretty sure none of them are correct. I need to call my uncle Gene and ask him what his dad’s name was, and ask if he knows his grandparents’ names on his dad’s side, and his grandmother’s name on his mother’s side.

Great Grandpa Hall

My great-grandma Hall was technically not a blood relative. My grandma’s mother died of tuberculosis in the early part of the century. In fact, she died while they were trying to move out west for her health – and all of my grandmother’s siblings also died along the way. Only my grandma and my great-grandfather (photo above) survived. Somewhere out there is a picture of my grandma standing in front of a covered wagon. She couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 years old. The woman she called Mama was her stepmother. I know my step-grandma Hall’s name was Lillie and my grandpa Hall was Luther, and I’ve seen their tombstones so know the years of their births and deaths. Beyond that I’m thoroughly lost.

I have a couple of photos of my grandpa Land; but while I know his nickname was Shorty, I’ve gotten that his first name was James, Melton, James Melton, Luther, Eugene, etc. None of those variations show up on census data from the period, and I couldn’t find any of them on a cemetery search of the area. (My family is from Arkansas and I am operating on the thought that it’s where he died.)

I’d like to document, as much as possible, a genealogy for my kids. I started the process already, having passed on some family history in a Christmas project a couple of years ago. All of the kids were fascinated by it. I am going to try and dredge up some more details about their dad’s side of the family, too, which is both easier and harder. Easier because there’s so frigging MANY of their dad’s side of the family. Their father was one of three brothers, but the previous generation was prolific as heck. My father-in-law’s family had seventeen children and my mother-in-law’s had fifteen. No, I’m not kidding, and far as I know, no, they weren’t and aren’t Mormon or Catholic, just humongous families.

Needless to say, that represents a lot of kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and the like, even though the majority of my kids’ grandparents’ generation has passed on. So lots of source material out there, I’m sure.

That being said, I’m technically no longer part of the family. I don’t know if that will make a difference or not.

Yes, I’ve gone to a lot of the genealogy sites. Most of them charge a monthly fee and while I’m not opposed to paying it to get information, my gut feeling is that they’re not going to provide much more than I can dig up for myself, if that much. I did find a free one, though, and it might end up helping. I put in as much information as I have, and hopefully it’ll ring a bell with someone else. I also found a possible relative who may be able to connect a few more dots. My great-grandparents’ grave record linked to his or her email address, and I’m going to pursue it.

The free genealogy site is, if anyone’s interested. I’ll probably still be adding information for a while, and going to reach out to my cousins to ask them about adding more.  My dad’s side of the family I’m only a little better off; my paternal grandmother’s parents migrated from Germany around the turn of the century so a lot of those records would be overseas. My paternal grandfather died when I was maybe 4 or 5, and I don’t really have any contact with that side of the family.

The double irony with that is that my cousin on my mom’s side of the family managed to recover the flag from my paternal grandfather’s funeral. After my mom died my dad remarried. The marriage was a farce and we kids knew it. My dad died in mid-divorce but without changing his will, so his second wife, who was divorcing him after six months (hey, she outlived our predictions) got everything from my parents’ home and sold it all at a yard sale. My cousin managed to get a large American flag and offered it to me. I knew immediately where it was from. My grandfather was a veteran of WWI and it was from his funeral. So I’ll be receiving that sometime in the future. My brother got the flag from my dad’s casket.

For the record, none of us kids were torn up that the second wife got everything she got. My cousin made the comment that the second wife took advantage of the situation. I pointed out that we kids each got something belonging to our mother, and everything else was pretty much irrelevant except the family photos – which my brother was able to retrieve and we all now have digital copies with backups of our backups. We knew from the second my dad announced he’d be remarrying that we wouldn’t see anything else from their estate, such as it was.

It’s 2:30am so I think I’m going to sign off and try to catch a few hours’ sleep.

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