Wednesday, January 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2

Favorite Photo

I didn't know my paternal grandfather, Philip Ficarra, he died when I was three years old. My only memory is a very old, wrinkled man sitting in an upholstered rocking chair. 

I have several photos of Grandpa Phil, the photo below is a favorite. It was taken in Chicago, Illinois sometime in the 1930s. My father George, said he remembered his father wearing a straw skimmer hat all the time. Grandpa is wearing a tie, and with his shirt sleeves rolled up, it looks like it might be summer. I don't know what the event might be, or maybe he's at work and just stepped outside when the photo was taken. I got this copy from my sister, Sharon. She actually started on the genealogy journey in the 1980s. I picked it up in 2000 where she left off. She's been great to help me when I run into a snag with our family history.

Grandpa Phil was married four times. Two of the women happened to be both of my grandmothers. His second wife, Angie, was my father's mother, he married her 1922. He married his fourth wife, Jennie, sometime in 1946. Jennie was my mother's mother. I'm still looking for their marriage record. This is how my parents met. Father and son, married mother and daughter.

Grandpa Phil was my "brick wall" in my genealogy search. I couldn't get past him to his parents or grandparents. A few years ago, a friend of mine actually found his parent's marriage on and I've been grateful ever since. I still don't have Philip's birth record and I can't seem to find his family in any census or New Orleans, Louisiana city directories. They have once again become my "brick walls."

Copyright 2018, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott
#52ancestors #genealogy #familyhistory

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Writing My Story

I'm getting back to writing. I signed up with Amy Johnson Crow's: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I belong to a writing group once a month through my local society. I struggle, but the group helps me make sense of what I'm trying to say. I may not make all 52 weeks, but I'm willing to start.

I came across this great motivator from Thomas MacEntee's Twitter feed and on Facebook: 18 Writing Tips for 2018: How to Tell Personal and Family Stories with Confidence. I especially like tip number 3, Make a Time Line of Major Life Events. I really like the concept. After reading the whole article, I shared the link on my society's Facebook page and sent the link to my writing group.

I found a notebook I had and emptied out pages that had writing on them. Then I started to write down each year I've been alive. Left a page or two between each year and started adding in some of the big turning points of my life.

I don't have to write about ancestors. I'll write about whomever I want. I just want to START!

Copyright 2018, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott
#52ancestors #genealogy