Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Favorite Aunt or Uncle?

Many of you read my Note on Facebook asking if anyone ever had a favorite grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Well after thinking about it for a while I decided I had favorites for different times of my life and for different reasons. I had one aunt, Emma, who was the best cook ever and she was a kind and gentle soul. I had another aunt, Louise, who was the adventurous one and she was always taking us kids on adventures. I have an uncle, Marcus, who always was the big kidder and loved to take us fishing. I had other aunts and uncles with no particularly memorable characteristics except they just loved us. They all were important as family but for different reasons. I never knew that these people weren't my blood relation until later in life when I found out I was adopted. So now I have been researching an extra set of grandparents since I found my blood relatives. These I found are great people also. They are playing a major role in my life now in the adult time of my life. I'm always getting invitations for dinners from Uncle Dale and Aunt Peggy and e-mails from Aunt Kay, Aunt Sarah, and Aunt Madelon about their families. I have come to the belief that family are those that have had a profound and positive impact on your life - adopted family or blood relation. It could even be a childhood friend you have grown up with that have been like a brother or sister to you, they are your family too. So when doing your family history research consider all these people as your family lines because they are the family of your heart.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beginnings of an Interest in Genealogy

Our trips to Kentucky for the summers were full of fun and where a deep interest in my family origins began. Mom was the great organizer of the family trips. First we had to go to Illinois to pick up one of her sisters then we had to make a trip down to Tennessee to pick up another sister before we all got to go to Kentucky to stay at Mammie and Pappie Conner's for the summer. We would spend the time while there going on the dreaded Yard Sale day-long trips. Us kids would ride in the back of her pick-up truck and we made the best of it because we got to spend time with our cousins. Then there were the days we would go visiting - cousins, aunts, uncles, childhood friends. My mom and her sisters were very close even though they lived miles apart. All these people and the places we went I took in every minute. I have a very good knack for reading directions, memorizing maps, and remembering small details. Then we would spend at least one day visiting cemeteries where our family was buried. But one day we made a very interesting trip around to several new cemeteries looking for the elusive GreatGrandfather. No one seemed to know where he was buried or what had happened to him. I don't quite remember how she said it but mom said she wanted me to find him someday - find out about our family, it was very important. That always stuck with me - my mother's wish!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Growing up in Indiana & Kentucky

Growing up in Indiana was the best time of my life. We had our fun summers, hard winters, good time and hard times as well. My father, Vonda Allen Dunn, was a native Hoosier with roots going back to Hamilton and Jefferson counties in Indiana. His parents were George and Goldie Roberts Dunn. George a native from Hamilton county and Goldie was an old Brown countian. My mom, Mary Ann, was one of those Kentuckians from the hills of Clinton county. Her parents were Alonzo and Millie Guffey Conner. When my mom was born they were living where Lake Cumberland stands now. That's one place I'll never get to visit - in a way that's sad! In the summers we would go to Kentucky to stay for weeks it seemed with Mammie and Pappie Conner. That was the greatest place growing up. I even lived there for a year when dad was looking for work when I was a baby. We had a little trailer that was parked across the road from the Conner home. It was an old dirt road that was seldom traveled so us kids played there every day. You would think being that young you wouldn't remember that much but it made a distinct impression on my that has lasted over the years. I would move back today if I didn't have so many connections here in Indiana. My dad's parents were a different experience. We didn't visit them as much and they were not a close family as I remember at least not as close as my Kentucky grandparents. I didn't really get to know them until I had gotten older. But that's another story for a later time.