• Learning and Exploring

    More Family Stories

    We are closest with my mom’s mom’s family, that is why most of the stories are from them. Well, that and they are a close, loud, expressive, hilarious bunch and the older generation is as sharp as tacks still.

    One time my great-grandmother thought it would be funny to wake my grandfather up from a nap by setting his chest hair on fire with a cigarette, this was a JOKE, not a Hillbilly Elegy type story (there are so many parallels, except all mine are happy and all his are horrifying it was like a twisted mirror to read that sometimes, I was wondering where the difference started happening).

    My great-grandfather didn’t care to make too many pit stops going anywhere and on one road trip he was so focused on the destination when leaving one gas station that he left my great-grandmother behind. My grandmother said she was smoking coming out of her ears mad (or madder than a hornet type mad, I love this kind of expressiveness).

    So like I mentioned in my first post, there were a bit over 20 years span between the 5 siblings. My grandmother is about 10 years older than her youngest sister. I knew my great-grandmother had false teeth, I remember her dropping them up and done to fascinate my brother when we were little. I didn’t know or didn’t remember that she lost her teeth in her 30’s. They didn’t have the money to get her false teeth, so my youngest great aunt grew up knowing her mom without teeth.

    She said she remembers when her parents came home from getting the false teeth and how huge they looked in her mom’s mouth because her face muscles had collapsed over the years of not having and because she wasn’t used to seeing her mom with teeth.

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Family Tree Stories

    Like I mentioned in my other post I don’t think its possible to come from my state or certain of the surrounding states and have a bland family history. We just don’t do that here. And it goes further back.

    My grandparents love genealogy and went digging through archives over our state and maybe one or two others (that side of the family has mostly been in this state since Europe). They have tons of old photos and documents. Papau has scanned some of them, but they still have tons to go.

    We have a ration card from my great, great uncle from WWII period with some of the tickets still in it.

    We have photos of my great grandfather who was stationed in India during WWII. He’s holding a monkey in one of them.

    We have a Swiss identity document from my great-great-great grandfather, my Papau’s great grandfather (his great-grandparents and his great grandmother’s brother’s family came from Switzerland).

    Someone died from being kicked in the head by a cow.

    Someone died from skinning a rabid rabbit.

    Someone killed a man in a bar brawl.

    My state is a byword for cousin marriages and low out of state movement, and yes, my great-great grandparents were first cousins. I’m almost absolutely positive going by last names and the counties involved that one of my crushes was a distant cousin (!!!).

    Also, you know how Laura Ingall Wilder’s mom’s family married multiple times into her Dad’s family (2 sisters and a brother married 2 brothers and a sister)? Well, one of my great-grandmother’s older sisters (the one responsible for stealing my great-great grandmothers handsewn quilts one of which my grandmother was supposed to get) married my great-grandfather’s older brother. Then my great-parents married. Later, my great-grandfather’s sister remarried and married my great-mother’s brother.

    Also, I feel like I’m related to half of the state if not America. Apparently it is possible to get a DNA test and not have thousands of cousins 4th cousins and closer like I have.

    Which leads me to, my grandmother’s family was, uh, prolific. She was one of 5, which was small for her side. My grandfather had more sets of two kids in his family before my mom and her sister and reasonable large family sizes of 8 kids. My grandmother had HUGE families in her family tree, 8 seemed typical. The largest?

    Her great-grandfather I think it was had 20+ children between 2 wives. Not at the same time (married cousins in our family yes, bigamy no, at least wait, I feel like there may have been a bigamy story or claim somewhere). No, in this case the first wife must have got worn out with 12 or so kids and then the next wife produced around 8. 19 were listed as still living in the the newspaper clipping of his death. I think 20 lived to adulthood, and there were around 2 that died as young children.

    That isn’t the only case of a large family from two wives, I think the other was more reasonable, you know, like 14 or something.

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Family Stories

    Anyone from a rural state is probably going to have a hilarious catalog of stories from their grandparents and great-aunts and uncles plus fun nick names (Pickles, Wig). My maternal grandmother (Mamau)’s family was something else. I need to get a camera or ipad pro or something to take more recordings, phone isn’t good enough for long videos. I’ve got some, but I don’t always remember.

    Also, farm stuff, so be warned.

    My grandmother, her older brother, and her next younger sister were all born within 6 years of each. Then the 4th sister was born about 8 years later I think, and then the 2nd brother 10 years after that (so he’s a few years old than my mom and his kids are my and my siblings ages). So the oldest three had a different childhood.

    My grandmother grew up until I think around age 14 on their extended family farm, and she was a tom-boy and she and her brother (while their younger sister tried to tag along) got into multiple scrapes such as:

    Rowing the boat out into the pond even though they couldn’t swim (the tag along sister told the parents, so they were rescued, I’m not sure if the boat had a hole or what, but they were stuck).

    The pair of them set the tagalong aunt on a bicycle with no chain off down a heel and she chipped her front tooth and has dental problems to this day.

    The pair of them gathered and ate sassafras, so the tagalong aunt tried to copy them . . . except she ate poison ivy.

    My great-uncle shot my grandmother with his toy (and toys then weren’t some dinky plastic things) bow and arrow very near her eye because she was bugging him.

    The pair of them turned a wrestling match into a real fight and got a “whippin’.”

    My grandfather drove hours away to the big city to work in a factory before they eventually moved there so he was gone during the week (I’m not sure how long this period was), so one day they hid from the school bus and skipped school, so they could see him longer. They probably got a “whippin'” from that, I’m not sure all of the details of that, how they meant to spend time without getting in trouble.

    The pair of them found some strange rubbery eggs and bounced them around, next morning they discovered they were snake eggs (my grandmother hates snakes, she always say when she sees one she gets her hoe out to kill).