It is that time again, Saturday night. Time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Tonight’s request is to look into the treasures we have found in our research, no matter where the find occurred. Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea Musings for reminding us to have fun with our research!
Within my family, the finds have been minimal, but none the less, very exciting. Just after I started my research, my Dad was getting ready to sell his house. He told me that there was a photo album in the basement that had belonged to my Grandpa, Larry O’Connell. Larry died on 28 Feb 1975, I was almost 4 years old. The album had been in flood water about 12 years prior. Luckily, no real damage had occurred. I had looked through the album and did not really know who most of the people were in the photo’s. The album stayed with my Dad for many more years, until I asked to go through it again around 2000, I told him I wanted to put everything together in a new scrap book. This is when I found the most important piece of information for my research. Inside the photo album was a full Canadian newspaper. The St. Catherines Standard, dated 18 Nov 1950. I scoured the paper for over an hour before I found why this specific paper was saved. Inside was the obituary for my Great Grandfather, Dennis O’Connell, (d. 17 Nov 1950). Because of the Newspaper listing all of Dennis’ siblings and where they were located, I was able to trace his sister Catherine’s family. I have found a niece and nephew of Dennis’ in NY. Neither of them met Dennis, but were excited to hear from me and know that there is more family out there. I hope to get to meet them sometime in the near future. Also, because of Dennis’ obituary, I knew what city in NY he was buried in. I just had to find the cemetery, and I did. That brings me to the next treasure, within the same cemetery is Dennis’ father John O’Connell and I believe a brother and his wife and a sister. There is one more O’Connell buried there, I assume she will end up being a relation, but I have not proven that yet.
This image is from my treasured photo’s from Grandpa Larry.
L to R
Dennis, Larry (Ambrose), Joe (Linus) O’Connell
Photo taken in Canada
The day my Dad showed me the album, he also showed me a metal lock box the size of a legal folder. Inside the lock box was everything important from my Grandma, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell, she died 15 Apr 1980, I was 8 years old. I stood in the basement, going through this box carefully. I was amazed at the things I found. Their marriage certificate. My Great Grandpa, Fred Jaeger’s, naturalization papers. Sympathy cards from when my Grandfather died. Grandpa’s wallet, which had been on him the day he died, it still had all the pictures he was carrying at that time. I took whatever would go through the fax machine and made copies and left the rest, I told my Dad that I wanted this box if anything was to happen to him.
The photo album and the locked box mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, I believe the locked box is missing (last I heard). As for the album, I have that. Since, the album itself was ruined in the flood, I have taken all of the photo’s out and have them in a photo box. I still have not decided what to do with them. I have read that they should not be set into a scrapbook because they are too fragile. I spoke with someone at a scrapbooking store and they said to put them in an album. The one thing I do know is, with the help of my Aunt Terri, I have placed most of the people in the pictures. Slowly, I am scanning them so I have a digital copy as well.
Let me know your thoughts on the older photo’s that have already been through so much, should the be put into a scrap book or not? Will the glues/adhesives hurt them anymore?