Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Midwestern Snaps and Surnames

Chicago, the final stop of my Midwestern trip

I'm just settling in back home after a pretty interesting (and at times super fun) week-long trip to the Midwest. I hung out with my grandmother in Ohio and got to show her a few yearbook pictures of her and her siblings that she hadn't seen in years (score one for the internet!). Then my aunt and I went on a mini-road trip to West Virginia for the main purpose of my trip: interviewing her father, my grandfather, about his family history. And finally, I swung past Chicago for a great few days of catching up with a college friend, meeting her husband for the first time (I was at the wedding, but he was a *bit* busy), and loving up on their adorable baby girl. It was a good trip! Here are a few snaps and notes:

This is my great-uncle Ray West pictured as a first grader in Yorkville, Ohio! 
He is one of four siblings pictured in the 1954 Ductillite, Yorkville High School's yearbook. 
(Second row, far right, look for the chocolatey male.) 
Adorable, right? U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

The hills of West Virginia, viewed from my paternal grandfather's home.
The Ohio River Valley, on both sides of the river, has been home to many members of my paternal family in recent generations.

My aunt, my grandfather and I took an "usie"to commemorate the trip.
This was our first meeting in over 20 years. But now that we're talking family history, we'll be keeping in touch. From him, I now know the names of my paternal great-grandparents, their other children, and assorted aunts and uncles, and know I need to be searching Georgia and Virginia for more info. Among other surnames, I'll be researching Whaley (of course), and Littlejohn. 

Oak Street Beach, on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago.  
It may be blasphemy to even say the word Michigan when your family loves Ohio State, but I gotta tell ya, after a few days of planes, trains and automobiles, plus family history research, sitting on that beach with the warm sun on my skin, the sound of the waves breaking at the shoreline, a good magazine in my lap and a good friend by my side was a great way to spend an afternoon!

Now that the ball is rolling on my Whaley family research, stay tuned for more posts as I dig in! But with this plus Operation DC, and whatever lucky hits I get on my Evans and Harris families in Alabama and my Coopers in Georgia, I've got a lot on my research plate. Throw in one last international trip before my Year Off is over and an impending job search, and I've got a lot on my life plate, though, so please be patient with me!

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