This past week of family research has been one of the more difficult . However, after having talked to my paternal grandparents through email as well as my parents I learned that as of last Saturday a good majority of my family had spent a good time roaming distant cemeteries. Surprisingly enough this includes Agamore, Ireland where I have distant cousins on my paternal grandfathers side who currently reside there ! I was fortunate enough to find a picture of the head stone ( posted below) of several family members included in an email.
Also included in this email from my grandparents was something that made each person feel a little more real which was little facts and or stories about older ancestors. Finding out my Great Grandfather Carmello who was a ditch digger that died of dementia and my Greta Grandmother Lucia died of diabetes and did what was called piece meal(sewed buttons and odd jobs from home) gave them significant to my tree. Details like how the died are what seem to interest me the most. After finding out other causes of death of my paternal grandmother side of the family we concluded that there is a history of Alzheimer’s disease , heart, aneurysm , prostate and breast cancer. I then followed up these assumptions with 23andme.com and found that 3 out 4 the risk was considered above average. Genetically, I hope to learn how and why each gene is translated for what it is and if it is possible to ever alter these harmful mutations. Another useful aspect about finding little tidbits about employment and lifestyle helps me further understand gender roles and lifestyle during their generations! Which I also find very interesting. I hope that throughout my search I well continue to stumble upon new stories that I can piece with far off ancestors.
As far as my maternal side goes it has still been very challenging.However, little by little I’ve been gathering new information from a distant Aunt that my mother hadn’t know exactly. This has allowed me to create a more detailed family tree by linking children to different fathers and connecting my great grandmother with the supposed man she married when she came over from german after WWII in 1949. Im confident that ill will eventually be able to find a paper trail but haven’t given it a good enough look yet because of research on the other side of the family.
Overall, I have enjoyed class and especially group discussions. I think its really great to hear other peoples stories and make connections with others. Also, I am extremely eager to hear back from the several members of 23andme that are considered 3 to 4th cousins especially those considered on my maternal side. I believe that they could have some very useful info on solving my great grandmothers history!