October/November 2012 Everything’s Relative

By Family Tree Editors Premium

A road trip back home can be full of warm fuzzies or turn into a hot mess. These readers’ touching 
stories show you can go home again, at least to your ancestral home. Each contributor will receive our Family Tree Pocket Reference —which also fits perfectly inside a glove compartment.

Harvesting Memories

Mom, at 95, wished to see where she grew up. As we drove up a dirt road, she said, “It’s looking familiar.” Seeing snow ahead, we parked and walked.  She explained that the well had been over there, the chicken coop there, the barn up there and the house there. Foundations for the chicken coop and barn were still discernible, as was the cellar hole under the one-room house site. Cousin Floyd was amazed Mom remembered after 80 years. She said it was there, and we saw the proof. It was an amazing journey into Mom’s memories.
Arlene Olson » Roosevelt, Minn.

Family Tree Fling

In 2001, Mom, my sister and I traveled to the small village in Northern Ireland where my great-grandparents raised 13 children. As we drove down the dirt road to their abandoned farm, we met Austin, who lived on the farm next to our family. Mom told him the family story, ending with: “And we have no relatives left in Ireland.” To which he replied, “Yes, you do. I’m your cousin!” It seems Great-uncle Willy had a fling with Austin’s grandmother and she bore Willy’s out-of-wedlock son, Austin’s father. We now correspond regularly with our surprise cousin via email.

Barb Walker » Aurora, Colo.

Ciao, Cousin!

My first trip to Italy included a side trip to Casalvecchio to look for a cousin of my father. We were standing outside a building and asked a passerby if he knew my Italian relative. He pointed up the street. We saw a man there, and asked that man if he was my cousin. He said no, but pointed to the door we’d been standing next to and said, “That’s where he lives.” 

We knocked and a little old man came out. We introduced ourselves, and he started crying. He went inside and took out the letter I’d written to his family two years ago. Sadly, I’ve since learned that my cousin has passed away.

Gloria Freemon » Bouse, Ariz
From the October/November 2012 Family Tree Magazine.