The Reunion

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The family reunion was a smash hit. As usual everyone proclaimed that we should do this more often. The last one being eight years ago and I was unable to attend. The majority of the cousins were there with family in tow. My cousin’s kids I didn’t know and have to admit still don’t, as it was rather like watching goldfish. Mom would point one out, name their cousin/parent and then move on to a sibling or another cousin’s kid. At this point I have forgotten the first one and would just as quickly the second. We took the required family shots, all of the parents, then kids then grandkids.


The genealogy information was a hit. The books were read, passed around re-read and commented on. The family tree helped everyone see our relation to each other and I had many corrections and additions to add by the time the day was over. The business cards with my address and web site came in very handy, several people asked for my email address and they kept me from having to print it out repeatedly.


One cousin that I hadn’t seen since I was quite small told me stories about his side of the family, Chief Cornplanter and the Kinzua Dam area. I will write more about that later, he is sending more personal information that he had with letters detailing out Chief Cornplanter and the Morrisons relationship. I have already started digging for information on his relation to see what is currently on line.


Next trip up I am going to take the scanner and see if my Aunt will let me scan in some of the old images that she had, one was of the family homestead, very worn and chewed on, but interesting none the less. She mentioned having old photos with writing on the back in Flemish that I am sure I can get a coworker that was born in Holland to translate for me.


From what my aunt told me my great grandmother Clemence Mary Defruytier was adopted and my great grandfather Emil Victor Van Houtte’s brother’s name was Manley, not Marcal. Even with the name change I still haven’t been able to find a ship manifest with that spelling either and according to her telling he came once a year and stayed a week or so each visit.


I ran into my aunt from the story “A Little Light Romance” and asked her if she had ever heard from the military man who found her so enchanting. I watched her face, at first a look of shock and then she grinned. I told her that I had been doing the family genealogy and had run across the newspaper article on line. She had received one letter from him and responded and never heard anything more. She figures that he didn’t realize that she was so much younger than he was.


Mom had a stack of old photos that she found and I brought them back to scan. She had an old photo of dad and his brother’s taken in the backyard of their house in Pennsylvania when they were all just kids. I also grabbed the boxes of slides that dad had taken and have started digitizing them. There are pictures of the Kinzua Dam being built and then more of when it was completed. There are even pictures of Niagara Falls when they shut the water off going over the American Falls, when they were doing repairs.


All of this should keep me busy for the next few months!


1 comment

  1. Sounds like a great time! I sympathize with you when it comes to sorting out all of the kids, I have to have one of my husband’s aunts sort them out for me at any family gathering. Keep in mind that Manley/Marcel may have used both names or a variation on either. My sister-in-law’s were adamant that their grandfather was Generino and changed his name to John when he arrived in America. I found him on the manifest as Gennaro.

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