Friday, October 15, 2010

One World Tree has something called One World Tree, where members have submitted their best work. I have found some errors there, which is sad. I think it comes from 'borrowed ladders' when the 'lender' hasn't documented the individuals fully (vetting is so important!).

I've found some info that fits in our family tree, yet I know it is wrong (based on documentation I have found). And the person who created the website isn't a member anymore and/or doesn't use/check the email they used when they created the tree. No way to find them, no way to compare notes, no way to make corrections.


For instance, my maternal grandfather is a mystery to me. Morgan C Griffith (b. Apr 1903 in North Carolina), AKA 'Jack', of Glenolden, Pennsylvania. His parents were Wilmer C Griffith, and Frances Miniva Morgan. (Morgan is his mother's maiden name and his middle name might be Cooper, after his paternal grandmother's maiden name. Cooper might also be his father's middle name.)

Morgan/Jack married my grandmother Helen Gladys Zimmerman at her parent's home near Chicago (according to family records), took his bride by train to his parents home in Glenolden, PA, and then....? After my mother was born her parents (Jack & Helen) divorced, and she lived with her mother's parents outside Chicago until she was about 6 (1930).

By then, my grandmother had become a nurse, and traveled with wealthy families to Florida as a nanny/nurse. There she met George Perry Lord, and they married. Mom moved to Sarasota, Florida to be with her mother & step-father. Her name changed (informally) from Lola Mae Griffith to Lola Mae Lord.

What happened to her father Morgan/Jack? At some point (since I've lived in California) she told me all about the death of a family member on his side (a paternal grandparent?). She went to the funeral in Pennsylvania from Cincinnati (which means this happened after her arrival in Cincy in 1944), saw her 3 half-sisters, other family members and was introduced as a distant family member.

That means that Morgan remarried, had another family (at least 3 girls) and _____?

There is a politician, (Howard) Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, Virginia, and is a U.S. Representative (VA's 9th District). Are we related? Mom says he does look like Jack (does she clearly remember him?). In the photo on Wikipedia, I can see a family resemblance in the cheeks, head shape and eyes. Mr. Griffith was born in Philadelphia (Glenolden is near Philly) before his parents moved to VA.

I did reach out to Mr. Griffith, but have not heard back.

I hope I do. I'd love to fill in the blanks!

(See update: Morgan Griffith)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Importance of Friends

Look for the silver lining.

As my mother's health began collapsing in May, I was surrounded by hospital staff. I was there a lot over a two week period, and got to know several of the staff. Through them I met Jonathan Sams.

Tonight, we caught up with Jon, and he met the rest of the family.

I really like this picture for several reasons. One is the look of interest on his face, and the other is "the letter C." That isn't was being discussed, of course, yet it makes for an amusing photo.

Jon has eyes full of expression. I'm glad the light was low enough that he had taken off his sunglasses!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I joined tonight.

Mom and I are home now (in California, that is). We had a great flight into Long Beach, an airport so small you walk out to the plane and up the steps. Since dinner she's been answering my son's questions about his ancestors.

I figured I'd better capture the gems I didn't know. I set up a recorder and let them talk.

I know a lot about our 'near' history. I've always been interested in my parent's families and what was happening. When we were younger, all of us were much closer. I miss it. is interesting. It's facebook for dead people!

The real interest seems to be finding the live ones, so you can find out history you don't know, but AC makes that rather difficult. You only see "Living ______" (fill in the last name of the father above them) for anyone living in a tree that you view. (It is cool how AC finds other trees that resemble yours, which helps you build your own genealogy). Unless you want to chat with the tree builder (and some of them have stopped being members, yet the tree remains), and they are willing to give you the contact info of their relative (very, very rare), you only find dead people!   facebook for dead people.

It should be their advertising campaign.

And yes, I want credit!

(c) 2010 S. McClintock