In 1977 after watching Roots on television I decided to investigate my ancestry. I figured eventually my daughter would like to know where she came from. I initially interviewed my folks and somewhere I have those notes still. It was surprising how little they knew of their own backgrounds, or at least what prevailed to be remembered.
Within a short time there were three mysteries that needed research:
- - Who was my mother’s maternal grandfather? His name was Allender and he disappeared before her mother was born.
- - On paternal grandfather’s side, who was this French guy named Bertier that my grandmother said got kicked out of France for too much wine, women and song? The rumor seemed far fetched for a bunch of folks from the Civil War era Missouri.
- - My father’s paternal grandmother, Nano, went by Anna Lines Crawford. It was said her father was Lines. Who was he and how did she get the Crawford name?
Over thirty years later I know a lot more. I know what is not true, but knowing what is true is a lot harder and I still have a lot of filling in the stories to go. But I do have a solid grasp on these mysteries now.
In future entries I will discuss each of these and other stories a piece at a time.