Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Searching For My Great Grandfather

This is my great grandfather's WWII draft registration card... his granddaughter lives at the same address today.

I only had one grandparent still around when I was growing up and my grandmother and I would talk all the time. You would think that I would know the ins and outs of her family tree but the fact of the matter is that I know very little. She spoke very little about her childhood so all I really have are the pictures from her growing up to go by.

However, there is one person that is missing from every photograph which isn’t much of a surprise since I never remember his name having ever been mentioned in conversation. This is why I know so little, less than almost any other person on my tree, about my great grandfather. Of course, my grandmother didn’t know much about him either and never wanted to.

My grandmother was an only child raised by a single mother and her family in Roxborough. My great grandparents were only married for a few years before they got divorced (married in 1914, divorced in 1918) for reasons that I have no way of confirming (most of the stories revolve around abuse of some sort). My great grandmother never remarried (although she did have her friend and lived with him until the day he died) while my great grandfather returned to the Pottstown area, remarried, and had another daughter. With the exception of some census record and various other documents that is all I know about him.

 I know when he was born and I know where he lived but I have little information beyond that… I don’t even know when he died except that I know it was after 1953. I have been able to piece together the line from his second marriage. I know the wife’s name, the daughter’s name, and the granddaughter’s name. Fortunately for me, the granddaughter either kept her maiden name or never married because I was able to find her listed in the White Pages.

At first I wasn’t sure if it was the same woman that I was looking for but it was the right city and the right age so I looked for anything else to verify her identity. On a long shot I pulled up my great grandfather’s old address and I was shocked to find that it was a match. This has got to be her.

At this point, the letter is in the mail. I hope to soon put a face to a name and, hopefully, good or bad learn a little more about my family. For now, I will wait and hope that my letter is well received. I will revisit this journey and update you all in a future post.