Family Ties…

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I don’t know about where you live but here in Atlanta we had a very wet summer.  If it wasn’t raining it was hot and humid.

On one of those rainy days, I grabbed my iPad and did a little genealogy research. I just like to piddle and put family member names into Google or and see what comes up.  Let me tell you – I’ve had a couple of surprises. On this particular day I was curious about my great aunt Geniece, my maternal grandfathers sister. As a child I always liked her – we shared the same birthday. She was always fun and treated me like an adult.

McQueen Johnson - my great grandfather holding Geniece my great aunt

I had not seen or spoken to her in 24 years. As family members have passed away, we all just fell out of touch. I happened across a newspaper article (that I will share in another post) from 2009. Lo and behold my great aunt was quoted for this article and it included her picture. I was very excited. Continuing to search I came across obituaries for her husband in 2011 and another for her daughter in 2012. Geneice was listed as “survived by” in both articles.

I then decided to search for  her telephone number and address online. I found this information quickly but then I put off making contact. What if she has passed away or has dementia? What if she doesn’t remember me? Today I put my big girl panties on and made the phone call to her. Great Aunt Geneice answered on the third ring – I instantly knew it was her.

Geniece on her trike

She definitely remembered me and couldn’t wait to ask me lots of questions. When she spoke, I tried to write everything down so that I wouldn’t forget important tidbits to relay to my family members. Geneice is still sharp as a tack and getting around relatively well for an 88-year-old woman. I loved to hear her stories and her deep southern drawl. She informed me of family members that she knew about as I too told her about what I knew.

Geniece and  her sister Lucille - my great aunts

We laughed so much – it was wonderful to reminisce and talk about the “good ol’ days” and “remember when”. I especially loved the fact that she has known me since the beginning of my life – not many people can say that anymore.

Before we hung up she asked me to promise to come and visit her. I didn’t want to lie to her and I told her that I couldn’t promise but I would see what I could do. After speaking to my husband and telling him this story, he said, “Well – you have to go see her”. I called my Aunt Linda and relayed the story to her.I’m excited to say that in November we will be making the trip further south and visit my Great Aunt Geneice.  I cant wait – I hope to receive family photos, learn some more genealogical information and most importantly cherish the time spent with by aunt and great aunt.


I just love exploring my family history.  I wish that I had asked more questions about family members years ago.  Take an opportunity with someone in your family.  You might be surprised at what you discover.

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