I always get bored reading other people’s posts about their family census data and whatever, so I won’t get into it much here. But it was pretty cool seeing pictures of ancestors, and figuring out that my grandfather was probably the result of an affair my great-grandmother had, and reading documents in old-timey handwriting.
It annoys me greatly that my father is not an honest person. He probably knows more about his father’s past than I can find out from the internet, but I can’t trust a word he says.
I told Mom about all this, and she’s been telling me more about my dad’s father. She liked him a lot, and he apparently doted on her and on me when I was little. He would take two-year-old me for walks while Mom was pregnant with my younger sister, bring me toys… She says he was exceptionally well-read and one of the smartest men she’s ever known, even though he wasn’t formally educated. He worked in the boiler room of the local mental hospital. Grandma was a nurse there. Before that he was a coal miner, and I think she was a seamstress? They both did a lot of different things.
Grandma could knit, crochet, quilt… She made all her children’s clothes when they were growing up. She taught me to knit when I was about nine, and made me dolls. But I was always closer to Grandpa. (Physically as well as emotionally — Grandma had this horrible little dog that would bite me if I got too close to her.) When I went to visit them I would look through Grandpa’s piles of books to find something to read, and I remember us sitting on the porch lost in our respective novels, usually after he made me a cup of tea. I felt terribly mature, drinking tea and reading with him.
Happy memories. I wish I’d gotten to know him as an adult. I think we would have gotten along well…