Turning aside from my own family tree, I had been travelling the path of my husband Bill’s ancestors. I enjoyed learning about his Transylvanian heritage, and discovering the ships that had brought his great-grandparents and grandparents to the United States.
Now, I turned my attention to Bill’s mother’s side of the family. Once again, I was entering data for all the family members we knew of, and I was getting hints here and there to explore further into the past. Already, we had seen some of the direction that this path would take us. Bill’s cousin had shared with us information about the research a friend of his had helped him with, and how it had taken them back to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, where Bill’s mother’s paternal line had settled.
However, the trip I was taking into this portion of the family tree was soon interrupted. It was not because we had run out of items to research; we had barely scratched the surface of what Bill’s cousin had told us. The interruption came from the fact that I had received new information from my father regarding my side of the family. It was time to return to my original path.
The information my Dad sent me came to me via email over the span of a few days. My original request had been to see if I could get any more information for the brother whose children I was trying to locate. We were still waiting for the military records my Dad had requested. Apparently, because my Uncle had at one point served in a classified area, the military wanted to find out exactly what we were looking for. They actually called my father to discuss it with him.
So, Dad started by sending me the obituaries he had for his brother, which at least then gave me dates of birth and death. One was from the Flint Journal, the local paper in my home town. The other was from the Arkansas Gazette, which was from the state my uncle was residing in. In the email, my Dad mentioned that he had other obituaries and asked if I wanted them.
Did I ever! I told him to send me whatever he could as far as the family went. Obituaries, birth and death records, pictures; I wanted whatever he could send me.
And so, I began getting email after email (nine in all). Besides my uncle’s obituary, I got his funeral card. My father had obituaries for his other brother and sister as well. I received funeral cards for his parents and for my Grandma Opal, my grandfather’s second wife. My Great Aunt Jeanette’s obit was there, and there was a funeral card for her father, Joseph McCombs as well as his obituary. There was a funeral card for a cousin of my father’s, one that I remember very well, and for his father, my Aunt Jeanette’s brother-in-law, James Slaughter.
There was even more to come. My Dad sent me death certificates for both his parents and for my great-grandfather, Joseph McCombs! He also sent me obituaries for both of my Taylor great-grandparents, as well as a newspaper story about a family reunion, and a “ripped from the headlines” story that could very well have been a plot of a story for Law & Order: SVU if the show had been on back then. That story intrigues me, and though it does not appear to have been about my family, someone kept it for a reason, and I’m curious as to why.
So, my trip through Bill’s family history was interrupted by flood. It was a flood of information about my own family that had me postpone working on his tree a while, so I could delve back into mine. I was glad I could. One of the pieces I mentioned turned out to be quite a discovery!