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)


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