Monday, August 30, 2010

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

Mary Ellen Chappell- 1956 ?
Ruth Chappell and George Miller
2002, Roosevelt, Utah
I have been searching for ancestors of my Father, George Theodore William Miller, who was adopted at age 14 in El Reno, Oklahoma in 1930.  His biological sister, Ruth Margaret Miller (originally HILKMANN) passed away eight years ago.  We just found her obituary, listing her immediate family....two daughters (my aunts) that I knew as a child, Betty Ann and Mary Ellen Chapell, now had new last names (Hembree and Sherwin).  I could find them and find my ancestors.  I did some quick searching this evening and found a phone number.  I called and Aunt Ruth's grandson (Mary Ellen's son) answered the phone.  His voice broke when I asked if I could speak to his mother.  I was excited; but he held back tears as he told me his mother passed away three years ago. 

I paused for a moment, then offered my apologies and told him of my interest in his family.  He seemed pleased that I knew his mother and had pictures and information about his family genealogy. He told me that he even had some Rose Bowl tickets from 1958, that his mother, aunt and I had attended in California. 

Ruth  Betty Ann, Virgil
and Mary Ellen Chappell
El Reno, Ok 1956?
I felt so badly.  Maybe my Link to my ancestor was gone.  I was too late.

It is said that "when an old man dies, a library burns to the ground." I hope that I have not lost too much.

I sent the young man some emails with family tree information and some photos of his mother and grandmother and great grandparents. 

Don't put off contacting your family.     George  

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading this when you first posted it and thinking I wanted to comment but got distracted at the time. I just wanted to say that I think your title is most accurate. I could kick myself for all the libraries that have burned and I did not take the opportunity to read any of the books first. All grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles are gone. All those libraries, burnt. Nice post, I hope some who are younger and still have the elderly in their family read it and act.