One unknown for most of my life has been my father’s heritage and his family. For some unknown reason, after my dad Ron was killed in action on May 6, 1945, my mother and my dad’s family stopped communicating. Just a couple of years ago, I literally didn’t know anyone from my father’s family.
Since I was so young (2 years, 10 months) when he was killed in the European theater of war, I have no memories of my dad either. I only know what my mother told me about him…and of course I have a few old photos.
Every Memorial Day for the last number years I’ve posted photos of my dad and others to remember them and honor them for their service to our country. In 2015? I posted this old photo of my dad Ron and his older brother Clifford. I stated that I’d really like to make contact with the family so I could learn more about them as well as my dad.
It was at the funeral for Bob Myers (picture above) where I was ‘discovered’ by his niece and nephews. They had ‘Googled’ their grandpa Clifford (Bob’s dad), and up popped my 2015 Memorial Day blog post. I’d included the family name ‘Cerrow’ and that convinced my cousins that I was related to them. Bob was my first cousin…who I never knew.
So…after a couple of phone calls to establish contact, right after Christmas in 2015 part of my dad’s family came to East Tennessee for a visit. In the photo, from left to right its Cousin Alex, me, Cousin Dale (Alex’s dad), Dale’s wife Sandy, and Cousin Michael. Dale and his family came over from western Tennessee and Michael drove over from South Carolina. To top off this gathering, they brought me a trunk filled with letters, books, etc. plus my dad’s burial flag from France!
Dale and Sandy have a daughter as well, i.e. another cousin! Her name is Jacquelyn but I couldn't find a photo of her in my files...
By now I knew that another group of cousins still lived up in Jackson Michigan. My Cousin Darleen and my better half Laurie connected on Facebook and have kept in touch. My research also has shown that Jackson and Grass Lake Michigan are home to many folks named “Myers”. There have to be a lot of distant cousins in that area.
My cousin Darleen had contacted my wife Laurie and she’d let us know that in June the family was renting a vacation cabin near Gatlinburg Tennessee. She invited us to join them for a family gathering! Here I am with my ‘new found’ family members.
From the left of the photo: Darleen’s husband Dan, Darleen’s daughter/Cousin Ashley, Darleen and Dan’s daughter/Cousin Kayleigh, Ashley’s husband Jeff, Cousin Nancy, me, then Ashley and Jeff’s daughter/my Cousin Abrielle, and Cousin Darleen. Wow! Five ‘new’ cousins!
Laurie was busy taking photos of the family group… We learned that Ashley, her husband Jeff and their daughter Abrielle all live in Delaware. So now I know of Myers cousins in Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina and Delaware…
…but I took this photo including Laurie showing her with part of the family.
As I said, Laurie follows Darleen and their family on Facebook and Darleen is the communications link to my ‘new’ family in Jackson Michigan. Here I am standing behind Dan, Darleen and their daughter Kayleigh.
Who doesn’t like a picture of a cute little girl! Abrielle is part of the future of the Myers ‘clan’.
Here I am with my 1st Cousin Nancy...my closest relative on my father’s side of the family. Her brother Bob, who passed away in 2015, was my only other 1st cousin on my paternal side. Special thanks to Nancy and Darleen! They added more than 20 names to my list of relatives…all of whom will eventually be added to the family’s Ancestry.com Family Tree.
It was great to be able to connect with additional members of my Dad’s family! It was a very welcoming experience for me…and we hope for them too! We visited for hours and we enjoyed a vacation style family lunch with burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, 3 different macaroni salads and 2 kinds of pie!
I’m finally growing more extensive ‘roots’ on the male side of my family tree! There was conversation about other items that relate to my dad…perhaps even another trunk or two, which may contain some more information! Plus I have more questions regarding the family tree… Thanks to everyone for the afternoon in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave
It's great that you have been able to hook up with missing family members after all these years.ReplyDelete