Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oldest Relatives and My Genealogy Luck

Yesterday, The Genetic Genealogist posted this question:

"Who Is The Oldest Relative You Remember Meeting?

Did you know any of your great-great-great-grandparents? Great-great-grandparents? Who is the oldest relative you remember meeting?"

See his post and the comments for his answer as well as other people's answers.

I met & remember three of my grandparents - also a great aunt.

My paternal grandparents, Grandpa Rogers and Grandma Rogers, née Saggers, were born in 1877 and 1878; they died when I was five. I do remember them, but not well, I'm afraid.

My great aunt, Maggie Drummond, my 'Auntie Grandma', née Irwin, was born in 1881; she died when I was 18. My maternal grandmother, my 'Na', Amy Scott (née Irwin), was born in 1884 and died when I was in my mid 30s. Both I remember well.

As my mother told me several times, many relatives attended my christening, so I must have 'met' a few relatives who would have been born earlier than these, but I was just too little then to pay attention and it seems no one took any group photographs that day either. I do have my baby book with a list of relatives (and presents) in it.

I found the Genetic Genealogist's question very interesting. I've wondered sometimes myself if life would have been a bit different if I'd had more time with my paternal grandparents, (and not just because I could have got Grandpa Rogers to answer some thorny genealogical questions).

I never knew my Grandpa Scott as he died before I was born, but I know I was lucky that my Na lived long enough to know my children and lucky that she talked so often about family things, both to my mother and later to me. I'd never had had such a good start to my family research without the information she gave me when I was younger and it certainly seems highly unlikely that my Mum and I would have been able to identify so many family photographs without Na.

In fact, I feel very lucky that my maternal great grandmother, Janet Irwin (née Carmichael), lived so long too. In her later years, she lived a lot with my grandparents and my mother said her great grandmother talked about family history to her. Great grandmother Irwin lived from 1851 to 1927; my mother was 13 when she died.

Mum could hardly have remembered her grandfather William Irwin though as he died when mum was four.

Mum never knew her paternal grandfather, Walter Scott, as he died in 1892, but she did know her paternal grandmother, Mary Janet Scott, née Wood, who was born in 1858 and didn't die till 1944 when mum was thirty.

I don't think great grandmother Scott talked to Mum much about family or if she did perhaps it was only what she wanted known. I do know my mother overheard a family secret at Mary Janet Scott's funeral - one I didn't hear from Na - or from Mum till I started seriously researching family.

My mother knew and remembered other relatives too, especially, I think, her great aunt, Maggie Graham, née Carmichael, born in 1863.

This post is really my answer too for Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun question too! He asked

"When have you had a dose of good genealogy luck?"

Have a look at the comments to his post to see people's answers.

And now, Randy, start scanning, photographing and writing about your 'lucky find' family treasures and don't forget to share them on Treasure Chest Thursdays!

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