Family ties


My Grandmother, Margaret Zimmerman Shelton, about age 18

My Grandmother, Margaret Zimmerman Shelton, about age 18

Since I’ve not been working steadily the last several months, I decided to pick up my genealogy research again. My maternal grandmother, to whom I was very close, died 6 years ago and left me with many questions that are now likely to be unanswerable. One thing no one seems to know is my great-great-grandfather’s middle name. I haven’t found anyone who knows more than David E Zimmerman. I can guess, but I can’t know for sure. A lot of what she knew about her family died with her, so I’m trying not to let that happen again. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to scan copies of many of her family photos, and now the task of sorting and identifying them in some sort of permanent manner begins in earnest.

It’s been an interesting project. My mom used to always tell me about people whose names I barely recognized, and explain that they were “So-and-So’s son” or daughter or mother or someone… I’ll admit—it usually went in one ear and out the other. Now, I find that I not only recognize the names, I’m (mostly) aware of how and where they fit into my family. Seeing photos of them has even made me feel as if I’ve met them. It’s been an amazing journey.

I’m beginning to work on my Dad’s side more, and it’s tougher; he’s the youngest of 10 kids, and I don’t have access to the photos and papers that I’ve had on my mother’s side.

There’s that old saying about “hindsight” being 20/20… I wish I’d worked on this more seriously 10 years ago. Much of the internet information may not have been accessible, but Grandma Shelton would have been there to tell me so many things that aren’t written down or likely to be in Ancestry.com’s database—and that would have been priceless.

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