November Winners: You Name It!
On my first solo trip to Ireland, I’d spent several days at the library in Sligo doing a marathon all-day family research session for the ClanHannon.com. One day, I squeezed in a break to grab lunch and write up some postcards to send back home.
Having been to Ireland several times, I’d come to recognize the bright green storefronts of many towns’ local post offices. So while in Sligo that time, I marched into the post office to purchase enough postage to send off my postcards to America.
There was a lot of loud chattering among the men inside and smoke everywhere, but that wasn’t unusual anywhere in Ireland before the smoking ban, and everyone seemed transfixed on some sort of screen. I placed my postcards under the window glass and announced my postage needs. The woman said abruptly, “This isn’t the post office!,” shoved them back at me and turned away.
I made a hasty exit, bewildered and humiliated. Something did seem a little different about the place. I looked around outside at the green storefront.
Blush. Sigh. I had tried to buy postage at the local horse betting office. I imagine that later, the boys at Furey’s Pub around the corner had a good laugh about the so-called Yank, wanting to place a bet on her postcards getting to America.
Same Old, Same Old
When searching in the Westview Cemetery in Kirkville, Wappelo County, Iowa, for the gravesite of my third-great-grandfather George Washington House, I discovered a broken tombstone inscribed with the name Elizabeth and “119 yrs 10 mo 13 days.” The rest of the name had been on the broken-off and nowhere-to-be-seen part of the stone. It was next to my third-great-grandmother’s grave, so I was sure this had to be a relative.
If Mr. House’s statements are correct, at the time of his death he was 120 years, 10 months and 18 days old. He retained his mental faculties until a period of three weeks before his death, at which time he had a stroke of paralysis and after that he rapidly declined until the day of his death.
At one time that broken stone read “George House, husband of Elizabeth.” George House was born March 25, 1782, in Pennsylvania, and later lived in Cedar Township, Mahaska County, Iowa. He died Jan. 10, 1879, at the age of 96 in Kirkville. The age of 120 years stated in the obituary, I discovered, was figured from his mother’s birth date.
“She’s in heaven with the angels,” I responded to my grandson’s question about the passing of my mother.
Weeks later, when the three-year-old returned from an air show at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, I asked what he thought of the performance. The precocious toddler shouted: “I liked the jets. They were so loud!” Then he quietly added, “But I didn’t see Mema.”
“Why did you think she would be there?” I asked.
He shrugged and replied, “Mommy promised me the Blue Angels. All I saw was a bunch of airplanes!”
January Challenge: What’s Going on Here?
To Enter: E-mail your caption (less than 50 words) with the Everything’s Relative/January 2012 as the subject to FTMedit@fwmedia.com. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2011 Remember: You must include your mailing address to win. We can’t acknowledge entries. By submitting, you give Family Tree Magazine permission to feature your contribution in all print and electronic media.