Spooky Heirloom

Best story from the last family gathering.  Some background: many of my cousins and most of the younger generation just roll their eyes at the mention of genealogy.  But at our last reunion in Illinois we had the rare chance to see a friendship album from a distant branch of the family.  This contained poems, obituaries, and locks of hair.  It was started in 1860.  I wrote about it here for my genealogy blog.

About ten of us went to LaMoille, Illinois to see the album.  My niece went with us, but chose to stay outside.  She thought a book of hair was too creepy.  I persuaded her of its historical significance and she reluctantly joined us in the dining room.  We stood around the table as Wanda explained the history of friendship albums.

I then began to explain our personal connection.  “Our great-grandfather, James Duncan, had a brother, T. C., who married Emma….”  The lights in the house dimmed, went out, and slowly came back up.  We were silent.  The home owners were startled.  And my niece was gone.  We didn’t see her until we went outside.

I took it as a benevolent tip of the hat from Uncle T. C.