Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update on Bessie

The Christmas Holiday has come and gone. Actually, it seemed like it snuck up on me quickly and was over in a blink of an eye. I can't say that this year found me with the holiday spirit at all. I don't like feeling that way, as I've always loved holidays, and this one in particular.

My grandmother, Lola, had an older sister Bessie who died in 1976. Once I had a copy of her obituary, I began searching for the named survivors. In this case it was her two "nieces" Lillian and Grace. From my research, I was able to determine that Lillian and Grace were nieces by marriage, but I feel that they felt more like blood relatives (my speculation here). After hours of research via my favorite on-line tools (Ancestry.com and Newspaperarchive.com), I was able to gather names and begin the search for living descendants. I found them and did reach out. I did hear back from a great granddaughter of Grace who put my sister and I in touch with her aunt and after a few messages back and forth, communication stopped (probably due to busy schedules).

We also reached out to Lillian's grandson (or who we believed was Lillian's grandson). Several months after sending a message, we heard back from him! Lillian was his grandmother and he has an aunt living in Illinois that does know about "Aunt Bessie" and believes she has pictures of her (she is in possession of Lillian's pictures)!

I am so excited about this! I'm so hoping for pictures and to find out what she may know about Bessie, as from what I can gather, Bessie had a long history with that family. I have always believed that someone, somewhere knows about my grandmother's family, even if it is only information about individual family members and not the entire family saga. I am beginning to piece together the saga myself, except of course, for Lola.

More to come on that as the grandson said he'd try to find out more about the pictures this coming weekend! That should be a cool way to start the new year indeed. A little over a year ago, I didn't even know about Bessie and now I might get pictures and more information about her life.

As excited as I am about this, I still do not know any more about Lola, thanks to the brickwalls. The other drag here is that my goal was to find out what happened to Lola and translate that into a really interesting book and then be on Oprah (probably a goal shared by many). This really interesting book would also tell the stories of Lola's family members as they have turned out to be quite fascinating (in my opinion), especially my great grandmother, Effie, as well as tell the stories of the journey and the people I've met along the way. I thought it would be so cool to have everyone that I've found who descends from my grandmother's family, on that episode. But, not to be. Imagine my horror when I found out that the current shows are the LAST shows. Need to now rethink that goal!

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