Sunday, July 1, 2012

01 JUL 12

Olive Street ...
I've been a member of Ancestry dot com for the past ...... maybe 2 years. I've managed to trace my various family lines back about 4 generations ... with the one exception being my estranged father's family. Ironically, through his line (the Coopers), I've gone as far back as the American Revolution (although that trace becomes questionable at about the time of the Revolution). I've, now, pretty much run out of family connections. To look back further in time would require spending several hundred dollars for expansion into European records. I'm just not that interested.

Enter Google ... through census records, I found out that my maternal grandmother grew up on Olive Street in Philadelphia. She was ten years old when the family moved there. I entered the address on Google Maps and found the location in central Philadelphia. I switched to the "Street View" and suddenly I'm moving up the block where my grandmother played. Row houses ... 3 stories, brick faced, narrow. Some structures now gone, giving the block a gap-toothed look. Where my grandmother's house had stood was one of those gaps. It's now a family garden plot, surrounded by chain-link.
Still ... it was something to see ... something that I never before knew of.

My grandmother married young ... to Clarence Meyers.
My mother was born in 1928, my grandmother was 18 years old. The marriage didn't last. There was a bitter divorce and my mother was not permitted to visit with her father again (although she did ... but that's a story for another day). That portion of their lives was never spoken of ... at least in front of me.

            Josephine and Clarence Meyers with daughter, Kathleen Meyers 
                           at the beach - Atlantic City, NJ - ca. 1930

                                        My mother, Kathleen Welsh (on left) with my 
                                           grandmother, Josephine Sabin - ca. 1958

                  ca. 1991 - Josephine Sabin (on right) with her sister, Catherine Grear.
                  My grandmother would die the following year, at age 82. My great-aunt
                  would follow her four years later, dying at age 97.


PS: My mother did some basic research and found out that her father, Clarence, had served in the U.S. Army during WWII and was buried in the Veterans Cemetery in Beverly, NJ. She also discovered that, like me, she had half-siblings that she'd never met.  

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