Who did I think I was?

Ever since my dad died last October I’ve been thrown into a mix of overwhelming guilt and regret and absolute amazement at how little I knew about him and his family.

My sister made the first two trips up to his house and on the second one happen to open a cabinet and found some old pictures-really old pictures. Many back to the 1890’s….

Thursday I went with her on the third trip…this time we found papers/documents dating back nearly as far and some of them so complete and detailed I have to wonder if they threw out anything.

Here’s just a small sample of the things I’ve learned about my dad and his family:

My dad went to Paris when he was stationed in Germany in the early 1950’s

My grandparents paid the doctor $35 for “obstetrical services” and $15 for anesthetic when my dad was born in 1931

My grandpa, who i did know worked at western electric for 40 years, had perfect attendance in 1959, 1960 and 1961

My grandma was born at home in 1905, virtually around the corner from the hospital where I worked.

I think like a lot of families, we were always closer to my mom’s family and when you add a little mental illness into the mix it’s easy to see why we never knew much about the boyle connection, something that became more pronounced and embarrassing over the years.

in fact I learned from my sister and online that my Great-great, grandfather David Boyle, who emigrated from johnstone, renfrewshire outside Glasgow invented and patented the first ammonia compressor in 1872, which advanced refrigeration technology

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2 thoughts on “Who did I think I was?

  1. This makes me think a lot of my relationship with my own father. We have had a strained, at best, relationship for the last 20-something years, and I wonder what I am missing about his story.

    Maybe it’s time to start looking past the surface tension, and see what lays just below that level.

  2. Interesting info, Tracy. My family is the opposite – grew up in the same tiny town with a goodly number of my dad’s siblings (he was the youngest of 10) and my grandparents – every family re-union, every five years, has a family tree up on a wall. It takes up more and more of a wall at every reunion since newly-born people keep getting added.

    My mom’s family is less known because she came from the UK to the US, and it was more difficult to keep in touch.

    In any event, was just looking through the pile of photos I’d brought with me from my mom’s last September – was just showing them to someone the other evening and commenting that none of them have any identifiers on the back. Should start doing that while I remember who everyone is!

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