Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding a Great-Aunt.... online

As you may have noticed, Genealogy, in its many forms, has changed my life and my feelings about retirement. No Story To Small has created a challenge I cannot resist. Each week participants write a SMALL story about one family member and share it in the 52 Week Challenge.   Today I begin at  the effort. Hope you enjoy meeting all these folks.

In 1953, at my wedding, several of my father's cousins came from Philadelphia, PA as guests. I had never met them before, and to tell the truth, at that moment, I really did not care! The years go by, 3 children and a new marriage, the death of many family members and, suddenly, I did care who they were and how they were related. And this happened because genealogy entered my life.... late but you start when you start. I began with what I knew: the family surname, the city they came from, and I knew we were related somehow.  It took some census searching, help from others who read my requests for information on the JewishGen website, and an amazing piece of luck. Yep, I found the Baraff family. Had them on the census, looked up each individual and I knew I had the right family. Nothing made them look like the were related to me. And then the AHA moment arrived.  I searched for each of the 5 children of Jenne Baraff.  On 4 birth records the  mother's name was a form of Jenne Baraff but, wonder of wonders, up came the surprise and solution on the birth record gave the mother's name as Jennie Talmage Baraff. My pgm's maiden name was Talmage. My dad, his sisters or my grandmother never spoke of any of the family from Romania that we can recall. Here we had found another sister of my dad's mother.  It was a wonderful surprise for all in the remaining family that our Baraff mystery was finally solved.

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