Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Closet: Part I

Gramma Jones and children

Do you hear that? It is a skeleton slowly opening a closet door. He been hiding for a long time.  

Death is an easy starting point for family secrets to surface.  Genevieve Gell Carrier Stubenrod, died September 1980, in Rochester, NY. My grandmother's sudden death brought family together and created a melancholy atmosphere for sharing memories.  It was clear, when I noticed the sideways looks that darted through the room when I asked about Grandma's father, that I was stirring up a family secret. 

Great Grandma Margaret Jones was somewhat of a family legend.  An Irish immigrant, she had a strong brogue accent and was impish with us great grand kids. But, I  was told, she was a "prevaricator".  Shamefully, they continued, the two oldest daughters (Genevieve and Alberta) each had different fathers.

Genevieve's birth certificate was discreetly given to me to uncover information about her "father".  It listed her father as "Robert Ford" and mother "Margaret Fay". Over the years I collected other records including Margaret Jones' SS application. In 1930 I found the family living with Robert Gell in Rochester, NY. He was Great Grandma Jones' husband, before she married Jones, and the father of all the siblings in the 1930 census.

Genevieve's BC showed that she was born in Bradford, PA to Robert Ford and Margaret Fay in 1913.  In fact, the 1930 census showed 4 out of 7 of the children living with Robert and Margaret Gell, were born in PA. Something about the birthplace of the children didn't fit but I couldn't pull it together.

No comments:

Post a Comment