Meet my grandma, Fayette Winona Madeline Driscoll Dolan. I was enormously privileged to grow up in the house with my grandparents, as she had with hers. My grandma was an interesting woman. When I heard children at school talking of being Irish or Italian, I came home and asked, “Grandma, what are we?” She did not hesitate to answer, “Yankees.” When I asked her where we were from, I got a matter of fact answer. “Here.”
Well, that solves everything! We’re from here. End of story. Right? Not so much!
A few more years passed by and Thanksgiving time was rolling around, just as it is now. Grandma casually remarked, “Our people came over on that boat.” I wasn’t sure whether she was serious or whether she was starting to crack up but she seemed serious enough. Years later I know that she couldn’t have been more serious and was absolutely right.
Many years later I have come to acquire the collections of newspapers, photographs, deeds, and bills that my grandmother and generations before her had hoarded. I have a favorite quote about that and sadly, the woman who wrote it passed away on October 28th of this year.
“Blessed are the great-grandmothers, who hoarded newspaper clippings and old letters, for they tell the story of their time.”
-Beatitudes of a Family Genealogist by Wilma Mauk (1922-2011)