Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Fellow geneablogger Michelle Robillard kindly volunteered to go to the
library and search for the obituary of my maternal grandfather, Edward F
White Sr.  She emailed it to me today and it was waiting for me when I
came home tonight. It's from the  The Lowell Sun, 7Dec 1981 p 23. From it
I learned the following, most of which I never knew before:

That he had lived most of his life in West Roxbury
He moved to Billerica around 1961 after retiring from the Atlantic Gelatin
Division of General Foods in Woburn.

He was a member of:
The Billerica Lodge of Elks
The Senior Citizens Club
The Carriage House Club
The Greenwood Club

He worked as a school crossing guard

He also worked as a cab driver for the Graham Cab Company.

He had two sons, Edward F White Jr of Woburn and Charles T White
of Lynn, and seven grandchildren.

This confirmed the story I'd heard from my Aunt Emily that my grandfather
had named two of his sons after himself: my Uncle Ed, and a son from his
second marriage.

So now I know that I have two half uncles and at least seven cousins. If
Edward and Charles are still alive they are most likely at least in their
seventies since my grandparents divorced in 1936. Did they know about
my Mom and her brother?( They are not mentioned in the obituary.)  If I
contact them will I be disclosing information about their father that will
upset them, and do I have the right to do that to them?

Most of all, I'm not sure how I'm feeling about my grandfather right now.
It looks like he had a pretty full life, and I think of how my grandmother
struggled to raise my Mom and uncle, and how different my Mom's life might
have been.


GrannyPam said...

It is hard to understand things from the past, since we weren't there. You can't know why your grandparents divorced, and the circumstances of their failed relationship are long gone. You can find out about your new cousins, and perhaps meet them. Have you checked the SS death index for your uncles, yet?

abby (desperategenie) said...

This certainly is a delicate situation and I can understand your mixed emotions. There are many "what if's?" If contacting these cousins is something you and your family feel you want to do, I suggest you go for it! Your grandfather is a part of your family history and you should stay true to your research objectives- this is obviously important to you! Sharing this part of his life with his other descendants might be upsetting, but I think the opportunity to know about you and your family will outweigh any of your grandfathers past decisions. Good luck, I hope it all works out!

dee-burris said...

I think you should try and make contact. They are, after all, your family.

You can start by saying something to the effect of "I think we may be related." If your uncles are still alive, and knew of their father's first family, they will likely be ready for your inquiry.

If they did not know, I'd think you'd be able to read the genuineness of the question, "Oh really, how would that be?"

Good luck with this.