It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Trees

I'm going to continue with the genealogy thing. I have another family line that I'm stuck on. It's my McGrew line. It has taken me 25 years to get back just three generations, and now I'm at an impasse again. Someone out there must have the information I need, but I haven't found them yet. My great-grandmother was Sylvia May McGrew. She married Walter Henry Harrison and they had George Walter Harrison, who was my mother's father. They also adopted a daughter, Alice. Sylvia's father was Robert Kelley McGrew and her mother was Ara Matilda Bridgman. Now here comes the problem. Robert's father was named Finley McGrew, and he was Irish. It seems that every family unit in every generation of McGrews had a Finley, and I can't find a connection to any one of them! There is a ton of information on the McGrews, and one man even wrote a book that claims all McGrews are related, but he doesn't have any information on my line! I know that a lot of them were Quakers, and the Quakers have extensive records, but I can't even find them there. I know that when Robert remarried after the death of his first wife, the children from his first marriage were put in a children's home. I can find all five of them on the census for that home, and Walter and his brother worked there as laborers. That is how they met, I am sure. It took a lot of years to find the Harrison family line, too, but I finally did. Now if I could just find that wily Finley McGrew, I would be so happy!

I have a lot of information on my mother's mother's line, but I have yet to get it all sorted out. She came from Georgia, and there was a fire there that destroyed a lot of vital records. My great-aunt went back there to see what she could find. She met a lot of people who were related, got a lot of photos and stories and such, but it's all kind of mixed up. (And there are some people she has information on that I'm not sure how they're related, or if they are.) These are the Kerby's and the Hoopers and all their families. They were all over Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina....good ol' southern families. My mother's grandfather used to tell her she was part Indian, (we don't know if its true or not) and he used to tell her his name was Jonathon DeWitt Talmadge Crackass and Popcorn Kerby. Now is that southern or what? My other main line is the Bagshaw line, and my grandma did a lot of work on them. They go back to England.
It's a good thing that we are not defined by our ancestors. Sure, they give us a sense of identity sometimes, but we are more than that. We are everything we see, do and hear while growing up along with everything we are taught and that which we make up as we go along. A lot of really good or great people have come from poor immigrants abut rose to their greatness because they were not held to the family business.
Well, I'm falling asleep again, so I guess I'll go to bed. 'Til next time.....'Night, Gramma G!

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