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I even for the first time heard stories about my grandmother’s grandmother, who came over separately from Latvia and lived with the family for her last years—and apparently had quite the personality.Thankfully, she died in 1941, just months before she would have learned that her four sons (who unlike their mother and sister, stayed in Latvia because they had a thriving family business there) were all killed in the Holocaust.I knew that my great-grandmother’s four brothers died in the Holocaust?
Especially since it’s their particular orphanage/sweatshop/Great Depression struggle that has led to my ridiculously pleasant life.
And as happy as I am that I at least scratched the surface of learning who these people were, I’m now sad about all of these other gray people: All of this has gotten me thinking about genealogy and how fascinating it is as a concept.
What happens if I just keep extending my family tree up and up and up?
What exactly is a fourth cousin and how many of them do I have and where are they all right now?
___________ I have one living grandparent—my father’s mother, who’s 89. I visited Nana recently and went through the usual activities—talking about myself in a loud voice, fixing her “broken machine” by unminimizing the internet browser window, being told to slow down Timothy and get in the left lane, even though the turn is still a half mile ahead.