My great-grandmother (pictured) emigrated to America from Canada with her family in 1858.Â Were it not for Ancestry.com I would never have known that she even existed, nor would I have found my uncle’s surviving widow living on the island of Orcas in the state of Washington.Â
I had been searching for my father’s brother in vain for nearly fifty years when suddenly there he was in the World War II enlistment records which prompted me to check the Social Security Death Index.Â He had died only two years prior to my finally learning of his whereabouts.Â Using a reverse telephone lookup on the internet, I found that his widow was still living and took a chance on contacting her.Â
Just recently my wife and I flew up to Seattle, then took a ferry to one of the most beautiful places I had ever been:Â Orcas Island in the San Juan’s.Â During our visit, my Aunt (by marriage) brought out several photographs.Â Among them was this one which simply had “Thomas Deeds’ mother” written on the back.Â I knew immediately from my research that this was, indeed, my grandfather’s mother and no one had even known her name or that she was Canadian born until I came along.Â My aunt also had a picture of my grandfather, Thomas, which I had never seen.Â
I also learned that my Uncle had been married before and had one daughter.Â Other than my own children and grandchildren, the cousin is my only living blood relation.Â The irony of this whole situation is that my oldest daughter had been living just a ferry boat ride from my uncle for the past eleven years.
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