When starting my research I met with my dad to pull as much information out of him as possible. We moved from where my father was raised in Illinois to Texas when I was five years old and except for the occasional visit back in the summers I really didn't know much about his family. My father was much younger than his siblings with his closest being 15 years older than him. He basically grew up an only child and his sister's children were more like siblings to him as they were closer to his age being born either a few years before or right around the time my dad was born. So with my research I started by searching my dad's name and the first thing I pulled up was the 1940's Census. I know it sounds boring when you think about the government workers going door to door to gather the information about who lived where but it really is an AMAZING piece of history when you start to really look at it. The 1940's Census told a story. A story of my dad, Gilbert, four years old and living at 9401 Central Park, Evergreen Park Village, Cook County, Illinois, in a home owned by his parents worth $5400 in 1940. He lived with his dad, Archie, who died long before I was born and his mother Catherine, who passed away when I was five years old and shortly after we moved to Texas. He also lived with his brother Archie who died when I was not even a year old but was 19 in the year 1940. The day was a Friday when this census was taken on April 12, 1940 and my dad had just turned 4 ten days earlier. His dad had only worked twenty four hours that week according to the census but I am sure it was a hard twenty four house since he was self employed as a plasterer. I would soon learn my dad came from a long line of plasterers with each teaching their sons the trade. My grandfather also wanted to my father to become a plaster but died when my father was only 17 so he took a different route and went to work at a company where he would spend the next 42 years working just as hard and faithful as his father did.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I started this process of finding where my family is from several months ago with one goal in mind - be able to tell my father exactly where he came from. My dad is one proud Irish man and I wanted to tell him exactly where in Ireland his ancestors were born. This journey has taken me to places I could never have imagined and I am but an infant in this vast world of research. I am so overwhelmed I have decided to take this research out of my head and computer and onto the big screen where I can hopefully compose my thoughts into one giant blog and I can finally follow my train of thought in this process. I know want to travel to places I never even thought of to find homes, graves and records to add to my research so I can hand my father a gift. The exact location of where his family originated.