Friday, January 14, 2011

Intro: Background Info on My Grandma...

Norma (ANDERSON) VandenEynden (1921-2010) was born in Dayton, OH. She was around eight or nine years old when the Great Depression hit. Before that, her family was very wealthy, and they lived in a rich suburb of Dayton. After the Great Depression, her family lost everything. I don't know how her mother did this, but she saved many family heirlooms (maybe she hid them?), and refused to part with that life style she grew up in and was used to. My Grandma followed in her footsteps.

My Grandma's house was full of those family heirlooms, to the point that we called her house "the museum". Those treasures were more important to her than anything else. I'm sure it was incredibly difficult for my Grandma and her family to go from having more money than they knew what to do with, to having nothing. To be honest, I don't know how they felt. My Grandma never spoke about those things. I was advised (warned) by my parents to never ask her questions about her growing-up years. I remember having a History report due about The Great Depression, in which part of the assignment was to interview your Grandparents, if possible, and ask them about what it was like for them during that time period. Both Grandma and Grandpa would not talk about it. Grandpa just said, "It's no use asking her. She won't talk about it". I figured, by their reactions, that it must have been pretty bad!

My Grandma died in May of 2010. Since she had so many things, and my house had the most storage space, I agreed to take everything. I was thrilled with this plan! Since my Dad and sister live closer to Grandma's house, they were packing up her things to be moved one night, when they came across a large box under her bed. It was filled with photos even my Dad had never seen before! Now that I have all these items at my house, I have the exciting challenge of finding out who the people are in these photos and hopefully I'll get some answers to my questions. Did I mention how thrilled I am? I'm so excited to share some of these photos and  (hopefully) my research finds with all of you! I've already found out some cool things already!

So, at this time, I've put aside my research on my Paulk Family Tree for another day. For now, I'll be working on my Anderson Family Tree and some of my VandenEynden Family Tree-my Dad's side of the family. By the way, VandenEynden (yes, it is Dutch) was my maiden name until I married and then I became...a JONES! It's easier to say and write, and people don't ask me to repeat it three times, but I'm still proud my surname. However, it has proven to be a bear to research!


Mary said...

Looking forward to reading your blogs on the Anderson and VandenEynden families. How exciting that you inherited on your grandmother's treasures.

CJ said...

It's amazing, isn't it?! I'm still going through all of it. The photos are my favorite!