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Old 11-23-2020, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,391 posts, read 847,246 times
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Novice searcher here: today I looked at the picture of a cemetery where an Uncle is buried. He was just a name and a brief story to me all these years... but I am in touch weekly with a cousin from his line and now he is real to me. I got a lump in my throat looking at the obit and place of his rest. Is it silly to have grief feelings for someone that distant?
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:44 PM
 
950 posts, read 982,409 times
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Not silly at all IMHO. I get very emotional about genealogical discoveries.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,391 posts, read 847,246 times
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Good to know I'm not crazy!
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:06 AM
 
478 posts, read 155,119 times
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When I first started doing research I would spend days at the state library and the courthouse, and at night dream of the people I had discovered that day.

I already knew their names thanks to a family of avid genealogists but now I was discovering their personal stories, when their baptism was, what they died of, where they lived.

They became real people to me.

So no you're not crazy at all.

Unless we all are.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:52 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
38,879 posts, read 25,691,425 times
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That means the part of your brain that has empathy for others is working correctly. That's good.

Sometimes you're researching a family, learning how their lives went. You discover a kid died. Or other tragedy. Flip side is you discover the good things, too. These were real people with real stories. It's awesome.
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Old 11-26-2020, 05:31 AM
 
754 posts, read 499,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
That means the part of your brain that has empathy for others is working correctly. That's good.

Sometimes you're researching a family, learning how their lives went. You discover a kid died. Or other tragedy. Flip side is you discover the good things, too. These were real people with real stories. It's awesome.

This year I have thought a lot about a tragedy in my family tree from 100 years ago. A small branch of my g-g-grandmother's family moved from NW Missouri to a small town in eastern Colorado around 1915. There was an Army base in that small Colorado town. Three years later most of that family was wiped out--dead. The Colorado Army base was practically a breeding zone for the Spanish Flu in 1918. Within a matter of 2 weeks in the summer of 1918 the mother and three of her four children were dead. Some of them died only hours apart. Only the father and his 3-year-old daughter survived. Mom and the three sons died of the Spanish Flu, which was like the Covid-19 of its day.

I cried when I found the newspaper articles with the details about their deaths. The small daily newspaper back in Missouri carried several stories about their deaths and their funeral. The husband had the remains of his wife and three sons shipped back to rural Missouri, via train, for burial. The whole town turned out for their mass funeral.

Try to walk in this man's shoes for a moment...
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:34 AM
 
Location: NJ
15,443 posts, read 24,395,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM66 View Post
This year I have thought a lot about a tragedy in my family tree from 100 years ago. A small branch of my g-g-grandmother's family moved from NW Missouri to a small town in eastern Colorado around 1915. There was an Army base in that small Colorado town. Three years later most of that family was wiped out--dead. The Colorado Army base was practically a breeding zone for the Spanish Flu in 1918. Within a matter of 2 weeks in the summer of 1918 the mother and three of her four children were dead. Some of them died only hours apart. Only the father and his 3-year-old daughter survived. Mom and the three sons died of the Spanish Flu, which was like the Covid-19 of its day.

I cried when I found the newspaper articles with the details about their deaths. The small daily newspaper back in Missouri carried several stories about their deaths and their funeral. The husband had the remains of his wife and three sons shipped back to rural Missouri, via train, for burial. The whole town turned out for their mass funeral.

Try to walk in this man's shoes for a moment...
I was updating my son's father's branch because MIL's sister and her son had passed away. MIL never told my son, I happened to be emailing her for her father's side when she mentioned her sister and nephew. I asked how she met FIL who's deceased. I then found out that her sister's sister in law and whole family had died in a plane crash in 1974. The oldest of 5 kids was 15, the youngest was 3 months old. The husband who was flying the plane was a very well known cancer doctor. Their plane ran out of fuel in Minnesota where he was doing something for work. I'm very thankful that a CD member was very helpful to get me news clippings of the tragedy. I ended up getting busy with my daughter moving out but I plan to go back to the news articles she sent me and write some bios for the family for their find a grave profiles.

How does a tragedy like a family plane crash not affect someone even though they weren't directly related to me. I was very happy to be able to restore their vitals to all 7 of them on find a grave as I found their birthdays. Thankfully they were already linked, they all just said plane crash tragedy.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:58 AM
 
1,218 posts, read 557,043 times
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I can become emotional about non-family discoveries. 30-some years ago I was reading the NY Times on a weekday, something I did irregularly not having much money, not my local paper at all. NYT obits are interesting but was shocked to see name of someone I went to HS with, dated briefly 1500 miles from NY, super smart and nice guy who worked at UN married South American woman, daughter of someone important, they had baby. 3 generations died in sightseeing plane crash of SA waterfall. Very shocking and sad.

When I found a newspaper account of a great uncles suicide (died before I was born) it made me sad, he had a long illness and his elderly parents died the year before. His only sibling was my great-grandfather who was outside the house when he did it (newspaper had a LOT of details) . Newspapers provide so much information we would not have had otherwise. Today's obits are sterilized, many do not include cause of death or much at all that future descendants would like to know.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:33 AM
 
Location: NJ
15,443 posts, read 24,395,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkletwinkle22 View Post
I can become emotional about non-family discoveries. 30-some years ago I was reading the NY Times on a weekday, something I did irregularly not having much money, not my local paper at all. NYT obits are interesting but was shocked to see name of someone I went to HS with, dated briefly 1500 miles from NY, super smart and nice guy who worked at UN married South American woman, daughter of someone important, they had baby. 3 generations died in sightseeing plane crash of SA waterfall. Very shocking and sad.

When I found a newspaper account of a great uncles suicide (died before I was born) it made me sad, he had a long illness and his elderly parents died the year before. His only sibling was my great-grandfather who was outside the house when he did it (newspaper had a LOT of details) . Newspapers provide so much information we would not have had otherwise. Today's obits are sterilized, many do not include cause of death or much at all that future descendants would like to know.
That's how it was with the plane crash I mentioned in my last post. They said that he and his wife knew they were running out of fuel so they all prepared to crash. They described how she was holding the baby to prepare for the crash. It was very emotionally heart breaking. It was nice seeing articles about the whole family too and interests of the kids who were honor students.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:27 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
10,302 posts, read 5,523,009 times
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I've been doing this family research since around 1995 and discoveries tend to slowly evolve and reveal themselves. That tempers the emotional response to more like reading a mystery novel. Sometimes you know how it will come out but occasionally you are surprised. You realize that certain patterns are fairly normal or "average" (immigration, military service, marriage, children, deaths, etc.) and with so many ancestors you will likely tie into some famous or infamous line somewhere.

My only exception has been my Irish branch that keeps throwing a wrench into the usual workings of my family patterns. They were so dysfunctional that I seem to have an emotional response to their situation and experience. Two Irish men from Kerry, unknown to each other, married sisters from Killarney and years later the sisters (by then one a widow) joined up in the US (St. Louis) living in the same tenement household running a small liquor/grocery store. Their children (1st cousins) married and at least ten children were born in about 14 years but most died in infancy. The husband was a rogue and never had steady work or was seldom at home to help with the family but obviously visited often enough. He finally moved to NYC. The abandoned wife died of TB in 1894 leaving an older daughter to care for two small orphans. Two older brothers were Irish street gang members and unreliable. The husband showed up, stuck the younger kids in an orphanage, and went back to NYC. His elderly mother followed him to NYC and ended up in an almshouse on Roosevelt Island. The husband died there around 1907. The two older sons both died by 1910, still involved in the Irish gang. The wife's mother, also widowed by then, was bedridden but lived in a local poorhouse until dying sometime after 1910. That left three of the ten kids reaching adulthood and having families. At every step of the way their options were very limited and the the bad choices kept piling up. You end up hoping something good would happen -- a happy ending -- but it never did. I only mentioned a few of the misfortunes that touched this family.
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