I got an e-mail from one of my cousin’s daughters recently. She is researching her genealogy and going to make a family tree. The only problem… she knew nothing about her maternal grandmother’s family… the Strutz side. It seems someone had filled her head with erroneous information and now it was my job to set her straight. She had come to the right place.I went to one of my filing systems, the attic, and found a box of old Strutz Family photos that my father got from his father when he died, and I got from my father when he died, and one my daughters will end up with someday. My dad had big plans to go through those photos and put them in order when he retired… the only thing is: he never retired. When he got too old to go down to the jewelry store everyday, I think he was around 91, he was not up to the task of tackling the photos. I don’t want to really give the wrong impression here, he didn’t really work all that much, mostly just annoyed the hell out of my sister Marja, who dutifully ran the store… and he could have worked on the photos there… I don’t think he really wanted to do it.But now, this treasure chest of memories has been passed on to me, or I was the one who took the box. Unlike him, though, I do have plans to share the photos. When we would look at them, I would say “Why don’t you give the photos to my cousins? The ones of their parents.” He would say “some day.” But that ‘some day’ only came when he died and I got my hands on the box. I’ve mailed some off, and have scanned and posted some to my cousins… I’m sure some they have never seen before. It’s easier for me than my dad, because he was a little too late to the ‘scanner/computer party’… and I maybe feel a little more responsibility to share.I realize I have a ready source for future stories… and this is the first:

My father’s parents Theodore Edward Strutz and Dessa Averill, left Watertown, South Dakota in 1914, and headed to Alberta, Canada. My grandfather had graduated from the Stone School of Watchmaking in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1912, and Canada was giving away free land to attract settlers to help expand their country. They settled in Hanna, about 30 miles east of Calgary. He would be an Inspector for the Canadian National Railway and open a jewelry store. On Christmas Eve of that year, they were married.

Today, I was processing new books at my library for circulation… I laminate the covers of the paperback books to protect them, plus, a lot of stamping, etc.  The first book I picked up was… MASTERING ONLINE GENEALOGY by W. Daniel Quillen.  I thought “Hey, that’s a good blog topic!”.

7 responses

  1. Hi Ted, good read, thanks for sharing, have a good day, take care my dear ♥

  2. Another great story……I imagine there might be more to follow? Thanks for sharing Ted…loved it!

  3. How fortunate you are to know all the things about your grandparents. Great story Ted….and I have to say, I see the resemblance in your grandfather.

  4. Great work Ted! I too just received a “box” of family photos and heirloom treasures recently, fortunately my Mom is still alive and identified some of the faces and places. She gave me my great grandfather’s silver letter opener. He was the founder of one of the electricity companies that is now one huge electric company that powers all of Chicago. Shocking!

  5. It is so exciting to finally find someone who is willing to share our family’s history with us. I have often wondered and have asked, but my mother’s mind was so far away in another place, that all I ever received were fanciful stories of how she imagined life was or thought how it should have been. When she was very old and ready to die, she finally started telling things a bit more truthfully as if the dementia of old age cleared up the insanity she lived with all her life. But, sadly, by then, we had heard so many different tails of her youth, we no longer believed what she told us. You’ll never know how grateful I am to you for sharing with us.

  6. Good for you, Ted! (I followed you here from Jan Morrill’s blog.) A lot of people end up inheriting a “box of strangers,” so good thing you are taking care of things before it’s too late.

    1. There are a few ‘strangers’ in my box too. My dad couldn’t remember some when I asked. Thanks for commenting… any friend of Jan’s is a friend of mine.

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