My Grandfather’s Memoir
Many genealogy researchers start with very little family information. I had a treasure trove from my dead grandfather—he wrote a memoir. What a gift to the family, including future generations. Thanks, Grandpa.
In 1970, Domenic M. Troisi (1894–1973), my then-76-year-old, 8th-grade-educated, English-as-a-third-language grandfather wrote a memoir to commemorate his 50th wedding anniversary with my grandmother, Bernardine Troisi (nee Beiter, 1899–1980).
I read it once when I received it at age 13, said “yeah, whatever,” then put it away for 40 years.
When I took it out again, I realized that everything I needed was there: the names of his parents and siblings, where they were from in Italy, where else they emigrated unsuccessfully (Marseille), and lots of information about the uncle who helped them move to the United States—Donatus Buongiorno.
Thank you, thank you, Grandpa.
Note to genealogists today: WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Tell yourself that someday, somebody (perhaps somebody who hasn’t even been born yet) will want to know your family’s story. Make a document that this person will find.
My grandfather hosted several family reunions when I was a child. His last was a blow-out party in 1970 to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with my grandmother. (It was a catered dinner in a hotel, a first for me.)
Since then, Uncle John and cousins in my generation have taken up the cause, and we have a day-long picnic every three years. I thank all involved for their substantial, often long-distance organizing.
A big part of each family reunion is posing for “the picture.” I treasure all these photos. See several here.
Note to genealogists today: If you are wondering how to “plant the seed” for enticing a youngster in your family to care about the family’s history later, reunions are a great place to start.