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View Diary: *New Day* How many of your ancestors have you personally known? Take the poll (270 comments)

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  •  I knew three of my four grandparents. (16+ / 0-)

    My paternal grandfather (by all accounts the most loving of all of them) died in a car accident ten years before I was born.
    He had been divorced from his wife, my grandmother, for many years by that time, and it fell to my father and his two older brothers to drive up and identify him. That was quite an ordeal for them all.
    I didn't have much to do with my paternal grandmother. She was the only one native-born to the U.S. (her parents having come from "Poland" shortly before her birth) and felt that my mother was lower-class. Now, that was true, strictly speaking, but the difference wasn't that great in the bigger scheme of things. That attitude set the tone for the family dynamics forever, unfortunately. I wouldn't recognize a couple of my cousins on that side if I tripped over them on the street.
    My uncle and aunt did some genealogical research and probably discovered whatever there is to know about my father's side of the family, but I'm not sure what they learned.
    My mother's parents emigrated from Transylvania at two very different times. My grandfather, an ethnic Hungarian, came first, leaving his hometown of Arad when he was in his teens to work in the auto factories. He loved cars, probably more than people. That was probably just before WWI, and he did have family here already to help him get settled.
    My mother's mother came after WWI when Transylvania was going to be under Romanian auspices. That family was partly ethnic Hungarian, and partly German-Saxon, and they felt there'd be no place for them in Romania. (They were probably right.) They came from Temesvar.
    That family was better educated than my grandfather's family, and my grandmother was not terribly happy to marry my grandfather. I have seen the wedding photos and she looks miserable.
    My grandparents, the ones I knew, were not nice people. My maternal grandfather was violent and abusive and had no use for females, including his wife, daughter or granddaughters. My grandmother divorced him when my mother (the oldest) was about 12. But she, too, had no use for my daughter and was quite willing to have my mother live with her father. Fortunately, I guess, he didn't want her.
    I did spend some time with that grandma when I was very young, but she was not especially kind or affectionate toward me. She reserved her love for her grandsons, especially her sons' sons.
    Now, my great-aunt, her sister, was another story altogether. I thought she was wonderful, and she was a saving grace in my childhood. I miss her still.
    Phew, I guess this one touched a nerve, MB! Gonna head outside into a rare sunny spring day for a while and catch my breath. But it is a good topic regardless of my reaction.
    I have to add also that despite the very, very little I know of my grandparents' history in Transylvania, I was pleased that the revolution started in their hometowns.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:45:58 AM PDT

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