I was born 14 months before my great grandmother lost her battle with cancer. At the time of her death, I was her only great grandchild. I have no memory her, and yet her impact on my life has been significant. Among other things, she was a genealogist.
Long before the days of personal computers, genealogy programs, and the internet, my Grandma Duval worked to preserve her family history through her amazing photography and through several different typed records.
Grandma Duval had two children, my grandmother and a son. For each of her children she created a lovely little book about their family history. I say lovely, but the reality is that they are just a handful of typed sheets taped together at the top. Each book is about 12 pages and includes information for just a few generations. What makes them lovely is the information she included and the handwritten notes in various colors that she added over the years.
I ended up with both books in the collection of items my grandmother gave me. The last few weeks I have been corresponding with my cousin, a child of my grandmother’s brother, and am about to mail her the book created for her dad. Before sending it, I scanned each page.
As I scanned this sweet little book, I was once again overcome with emotion. I felt so much gratitude and love for my Grandma Duval. I am particularly grateful for her genealogical work. It’s from her records that I have found so many clues that have helped me understand the additional records I find. It’s from her notes and photos that I find that extra special something that helps me know my ancestors more personally. It’s because of the records she left that I knew where to look at all when I got started. I can’t wait to give her a big hug one day and say thank you for the treasures she left for me to find!
I have included just a few pages of the book my Grandma Duval made for her son. I blurred or removed the personal details about my great uncle to protect his privacy as he is still living.