Sunday, March 06, 2011


The last two episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Kim Cattrall
and Lionel Richie and lived up to the high standards the three earlier episodes
have set for this season. Each displayed good research techniques and
engaged the stars and viewers emotionally in the search for their family
history. I have to say that for me this season is the better of the two that have
aired ao far.

The Cattrall episode was especially relevant for me. I share something with
her and her family: I have never seen a picture of our maternal grandfather.
Whatever pictures our grandmother Agnes McFarland  might have had of or
with her husband Edward Francis White Sr were destroyed sometime after
their divorce. Our mother and her brother, Edward Francis White Jr rarely
spoke about their father and when they did it was not in loving terms, to
say the least. If they were both still alive I doubt they'd have been happy
with me if I told them  I want to find out what happened to him.

I was explaining all this in an email to my recently found McFarland cousin
in New Zealand and I realized that I want to finally resolve the whole issue.
I want to know where my grandfather lived after the divorce, who the woman
was who he married afterward. Did he ever tell his other children they had a
half brother and half sister. Did they live nearby us, as I suspect they did,
without us realizing it?

These are questions I've toyed with and blogged about here in the past, but
I am now going to make it a goal to get some answers before this year is over.

The question is, where do I start?


Carol said...

Good luck, and I will be reading.

How bout directories??? Especially if you think he lived nearby??

John G. West said...

Bill, you should start with the divorce papers... whatever is available through the court. Hopefully you can determine where he was living at that time. I do not know if you know much about his siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc., but, I would search for them to get information as to where he lived after the divorce and any other info you can get. Use city directories, if available. Just some quick ideas that you probably already thought about.

GrannyPam said...

I would check the SS death index, just in case he lived long enough to be included. Then city directories/phone books from a library or internet archive. The divorce paperwork may or may not help, I have some that are very helpful, and some that don't tell a thing. Good luck with this, I find it interesting and I think you will too.

Kristin said...

Good luck in your search. I hope you run into some cousins who have a photograph of your grandfather.