Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

What Women Did For Fun

Several weeks ago, AdventureMan presented me with two (large) piles of files, saying that they were mine and needed to be gone through. I spent the day today tossing out old term papers, old manuscripts, old resumes – lots and lots of things that were worth saving, and now, not so much.

One thing I came across was a file with copies of work my departed aunt Helen had done to gain entrance into the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution (Revolutionary War for America’s Independence). It was like a game, only when she started playing, there was no e-mail, only snail mail. Long distance telephone calls were expensive, and she was a Navy wife, so it was all done by hand.

Genealogy work, too, was painstakingly done, and family histories, cemetery records, lists of people arriving and departing on ships and who married who – all lovingly compiled and typed on manual typewriters by people with a passion for making connections, solving the mysteries of who married whom and for how long:

(“no need to mention the divorce” one correspondent wrote, “it happened in my family, too, and it isn’t relevant so we just won’t mention it” she wrote about a marriage that ceased to exist over a hundred years before)

My aunt had a sure thing, and she had a unique entry, so she was tracking three entries at the same time, trying to prove a new connection, while knowing she had in her pocket an already proven entry.

I lost a couple hours of my life, reading through all the correspondence, trying to decipher her notes and the arcane charts of relationships stretching back to 1690, when one line of the family arrived on these shores. I grinned, thinking how we document our bloodlines, leaving out the pirates and the horse thieves, and (legend has it) the French aristocrat who left his first family in France and started our branch here, without having divorced his first family, LOL.

My aunt must have been a little younger than I am when she started on this search, and I know that she served proudly in the DAR for many years, along with several civic committees, library committees and planning commissions in Santa Barbara, California. I still miss her.

September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Aging, Community, Detective/Mystery, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Generational, Social Issues, Women's Issues


  1. you have all the documentation? I’d love to see it! this is so cool – I thought it had all be transferred to the DAR as part of the application process.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | October 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. You are right – and Aunt Helen made – by hand – copies of all her notes, and even her unsuccessful applications. You are welcome to it; family history. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. Intlxpatr :

    WOW , we are honored to know that you come from a line from the early settlers although the line was started in an Islamic way by taking a second wife without leaving the first 🙂

    Comment by daggero | October 2, 2010 | Reply

  4. LLLLLOOOOLLLLL, Daggero, you are hilarious. Actually, the bigamous newcomer was French, and he did not come until the 1770’s. 🙂

    I think my point is that when it comes to blood, we humans have the tendency to puff ourselves up over the illustrious ones, and shove the inconvenient ones out of sight.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 2, 2010 | Reply

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