Transcending the mundane

Family history is something which I find fascinating but with the best will in the world can’t be said normally to be of life changing importance to others.

Sometimes though, the result of your genealogical  activities transcend the mundane and take on an altogether higher order of importance when families are brought together for the very first time.

Yesterday was just such a day.  A friend was able to speak to her 92 year old grandmother for the very first time . She called me excitedly late last night to tell me the wonderful news.

vicphoto3Sadly her father never knew his mother – removed from her at birth after being born in an institution prior to the formation of the NHS.  He died a few years ago knowing nothing about his mother other than some meagre information on a 1947 birth certificate. No photographs – no memorabilia. Last year my friend asked me to help in trying to trace her father’s family.

Over time, I uncovered a sad trail of parental divorce, foster care, then removal to educational and health institutions throughout the forties and fifties in different parts of Scotland.  The search was anything but straightforward with hundred year closure rules working against us on more than one occasion. When I eventually managed to trace her granny getting married in the 1960s in her forties and going on to have a family of her own, there was still a huge degree of uncertainty about whether she would still be alive today.  But after a chance conversation that my friend had with someone from the same area in Paisley, it transpired that her grandmother was still very much alive and living independently as a widow. So, with a degree of trepidation, my friend summoned up the courage to call her grandmother directly. Following on from that successful first step, the next agreed step is for my friend to write her granny a full explanatory letter with the hope that they can meet in person quite soon. Result !

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Transcending the mundane — 1 Comment

  1. Absolutely delighted to report that my friend has now met for the first time the 92 year old grandmother she never knew. The meeting went very well and despite limited vision, granny was otherwise very much ‘on the ball’!. It was a very emotional moment for Granny to see pictures of the son that she was forced to give up at birth and how much he looked like her own father. My friend also showed pictures of her two sons, much to granny’s delight. In such a long and tough life as she has endured , born in 1923, moments like this were all too rare. She has asked about her son’s burial place and my friend hopes to drive her there on a subsequent visit.

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