Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three Things About an Ancestor

It’s mid-July, Tucson is hot (107) and humid, but we haven’t had but a drop of monsoon rain. It literally rained for about 30 seconds one night last week and that is all we’ve had. Even the cactus is looking a bit parched!

On the positive side, the weekend is here and it’s time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings.

Here is this week’s challenge:

1) What are three things about one of your ancestors that you have learned doing genealogy research?

I’m going to pick a collateral ancestor, but one who I met when I was little – my great grand aunt, or in simpler terms, the aunt of my maternal grandfather – Vera Pearl (Adams) Chadwick.

My cousin and I with Aunt Pearl, 1958

Although I have a photo taken at Easter 1958 that shows Aunt Pearl sitting in the background, and I always knew who she was, I never knew much about her until her son, Charles, encouraged my newly developing obsession with genealogy.

Here are three things I have learned about Aunt Pearl:

Aunt Pearl was the original keeper of the family history, having inherited many photos and stories of generations long past. Charles said she loved to gossip and kept u with the news about everyone! Her photos were originally placed in a velvet-covered photo album. Unfortunately, by the time I received it, it was in such poor condition with mold and foxing, that I had to remove the photos and toss the album.

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that Aunt Pearl married her husband, Perce Chadwick on 21 June 1916, but that they married SECRETLY even though they were 32 and 29 years old, respectively. They didn’t family nor friends. No, they didn’t “have” to get married. Apparently, both Perce and Pearl were expected to remain at home, he to care for his widowed father and she because she was “Daddy’s girl.” In fact, I even have a letter that her mother, Nellie, wrote to Perce explaining that Pearl’s father, Calvin, “would come around.”

Lastly, Perce died of a fever on 22 January 1933 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, leaving Pearl to raise their ten year old son, Charles. Pearl and Charles returned to Calais, Maine to be near family. Pearl supported them by giving piano lessons. I learned that she was quite an accomplished pianist.

Aunt Pearl lived a long life, passing away in 1973 when I was 21 years old. It was a few years before I really got interested in the family history. How I wish I asked Aunt Pearl all kinds of questions. My 3X great grandparents were her grandparents and she grew up with most of them. So many stories lost to time. . . .

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.

One thought on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three Things About an Ancestor”

  1. How wonderful that you have the photos from the photo album. I have one of those treasures, too.

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