Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Metphistopheles Previous Previous Next Next
♫Let's get personal, personal....♫ - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
♫Let's get personal, personal....♫
Had a brief but bountiful breakfast with an AOL-era friend who I've kept in touch with in all the years since but had never met "live" until this morning:

That's her boyfriend to her left, his first time in these parts that she left as a kid in 1977.  Colleen is here on a mostly-legacy trip to meet many relatives in this area and down toward Wilkes Barre-Pittston PA, places she's documented much of her history as coming from.  This puts her way ahead of me, barely knowing where much of my own almost-immediate family is living these days.

Her suggestion was to work backward from what we do know; documenting Emily's information, then our own, then our sibs, and building the tree from the top down, giving permissions so that relatives can, possibly, find us.

Still, there are tantalizing clues to what I don't know- and the Internet is such an amazing place for finding out stuff about them.


Starting with just my own relatives (I actually know more about Eleanor's in some respects): I know very little about my mother's side of the family, other than that she had no full siblings, that she and her mother were abandoned by her birth father soon after her birth, and that her mother remarried and had at least some rels on his side that she (and/or my father) kept in touch with.

My father's side at least has some graves, besides his. Near it (and our sister's) is my paternal grandmother and her second husband, and that of my Uncle Arthur's rather rotund spouse. (He died in places unknown, as did his oldest son; my only other first cousin, close to my age, is somewhere out there far as I know but I've never managed to find him.)  My other sister has given me a little bit of information on my paternal grandfather's side of the family, which several generations up connected briefly with another kind of generation: dad's aunt Allie's mother was sister to one Mary S., who was Thomas Edison's first wife.

But then there's the lineage on my paternal grandmother's side. I knew she had several sisters, but I wound up in possession of two letters to "Cousin Louise" from 1960 and 1961, both of which reference her (and the author's) grandfather, one William Parisen.  That would make him my great-great GF.  I also have a bunch of primordial photostats of his vital records- marriage, death, pension- that aren't referenced in these typed-out letters but are clearly of the same person.

Lacking the envelopes, I can't even confirm the author's full name; he signs one simply as "Charlie" and one as "Cousin Charlie (Now Bill.)" with no explanation of the reason for the "now" part. But there is an address, one I never recall ever being to or seeing beyond these two letters: 58 Park Avenue in Bloomfield, NJ.

Which, thanks to the series of tubes, I can confirm as still existing:

It last sold in 2011.  I know enough about real estate land records (at least in this state) to be able to trace title back to the 1960s and see if I can get names from that which might lead someplace.  Googling the "Parisen" name has been less useful, but maybe in concert with Charlie/Bill's last name I might find something.

This is far less important to me than, say, making sure Em and Cameron have a place to live in two months, or keeping our house in order in all senses of the word, but as I get older and move closer to the top of the family line, I have more interest in knowing if we do have second or third cousins out there who might know stories of how our parents and grandparents wound up where they did.  In time, Emily may also come to appreciate such connections: her thesis film centered on her creation of a sister for her somewhat biographical protagonist, and having better understanding of our IRL bloodlines might help with that kind of character development someday.

I'm beginning the planning of some visiting and ballgaming for the first weekend in August, and the first Monday of that month may wind up a day between Mets on Sunday and Court on Tuesday. Could be the perfect time to spend a day in Joisey, and see where these half-century-old letters might lead me.
Leave a comment