Photos: (1) Eleanor and Edward Brophy, (2) Group shot with Edward Brophy, Eleanor (Mom, holding me), maternal grandparents, friends and Marion and Ray Corso, cousins.
This fall has definitely been a time of reflection for me. I can be doing any given thing during the day and a memory of my mother will come across me, leading to a whole string of past memories and thoughts. It makes me feel like she is right there with me. It’s also been a time of thinking of my father’s side of the family, who I basically know nothing about. I barely knew him actually, when I stop to think about it. I have found myself on a quest of researching the past generations in my family history to see what I can learn. Who were they, did they have dementia, diabetes, leukemia, Parkingson’s disease? Who are we as a family?
Last weekend, I started on Ancestry to start my family tree. It’s only been a week and I’ve already learned so much in having found up to 4 past generations. I learned that my paternal great grandfather came from Gibraltor, Spain. His wife was from Ireland.To go further, I will have to sign on for a world search, which of course, I am curious enough to follow through. Out of chance, one of the searches that I had done, pulled up my paternal grandmother in someone else’s family tree. It took me by surprise and I felt excited that it was a good find. Not really knowing yet how to work on this site, I chose to write a message to the owner of the tree to inquire. I was beyond happy when I found that she had replied. What I learned from her reply was that she is my 3rd cousin and lives on the other side of the US. She told me that she has met several cousins on this site who have shared family photos, stories and history. She mentioned that my paternal grandmother had a very rich history. I am in absolute anticipation right now since we will speak by phone today, and she will share with me all of that information on our family from my father’s side. Very exciting stuff.
I’m amazed at how I could have lived this long on the planet and not have known that side of the family, but knowing my father and how reclusive and private he was, I really shouldn’t feel so surprised. But after all, I’m not a stranger and I am a part of that family line genetically, even if he couldn’t deal with them in his life. I live in a town now where I have been asked numerous times if I was related to this Brophy or that Brophy who live here and I would always say no. There seems to be a lot of Brophy’s in this town. Now, I am not so sure since I very well could be related to them. Apparently, my paternal grandfather had 4 brothers and a sister. Who knew…and my father certainly didn’t share, which doesn’t seem very fair. Everybody has the right to know who they are in life through the past generations if only for self identity and health history.