Barry's Relatively Speaking: Sorority Sisters Meet After 67 Years
Posted on Nov 24, 2012
Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on MyGenShare.com. Marjorie shares the following experience.
I must share an experience that reflects another unexpected joy in my search for family history.
During a day at the Adrian City Library in Adrian, Michigan, the librarian offered to let me use a typewritten brochure on Quaker in Lenawee County. Much to surprise, this history of the Wests, Chases, Havilands, etc., were all relatives of my mother-in-law. I was extremely disappointed that she would not permit a copy to be made even though this was not an old or fragile document. I copied all the dates, but did not have time to copy the text. The only identification on the history was a name, Gertrude Miller Long, Pontiac, Michigan; no date or address. The librarian could not give me any information.
The next day, I started calling Oakland County Genealogical groups for information. No luck. I called Burton
Library and that was the first bit of help. They had two other works by Mrs. Long but one was written in the i940's. Maybe I was too late. He suggested that I call the Lenawee County Historical Society where they had received their writings by her. Well, I did and got her name and address in Pontiac. With much trepidation, I looked in the Pontiac telephone book and there it was!
I called early in the morning and a spritely voice answered. What a delight! We spent quite a bit of time discussing our relationship. I soon began to wonder about her age. I asked, "Would I be presumptuous if I asked your age?" She replied, "Of course not. I'm proud to say I'm 88 years old." More thoughts raced through my head. I had learned she graduated from Adrian College. I asked, "Did you by any chance know Catherine Henderson when you were at Adrian?" Her answer, "Catherine? Of course I knew Catherine. We were sorority sisters. Kappa's. In fact, I dated her brother, Herbert." Catherine Henderson Wilcox is my mother-in-law.
It so happened that my mother-in-law was coming to visit that evening and I told Gertrude that we would call later that evening after work.
I was so excited I had a hard time concentrating for the balance of the day. After talking to Mother about all that happened, I dialed Gertrude's number, and gave the phone to Mother, who incidentally is 87.
These were her exact words. "Gertrude, this is Catherine." They went on to have a long conversation and we set up a date to go to visit her. Just imagine, they had not seen each other since 1916 and now they only live about 20 miles away from each other.
After getting copies of her history, complete, I have found that these two are related in three different lineages. I get excited even talking about this exciting experience. Thanks for letting me share this with you.