It's Sunday midmorning, I'm sitting at my computer wondering which tree I'm going to climb today. It's still too cold and messy to start visiting the local cemeteries (I created a long list of cemeteries to visit over the past few cold, snowy winter weekends). Although there's a lot less snow around, with the coming of the (slightly) warmer weather, I still can't venture out search for ancestors, yet.
So, here I sit, surrounded by half-completed forms and hard-to-read notes, trying to decide which branch of my family tree to I want to explore.
Actually, the branch that is calling my name the loudest isn't even my blood ancestor. It's my Great Aunt by marriage: Susan Elizabeth Cecilia Still Ware Vincent, aka my Aunt Cis.
Aunt Cis was a large part of my childhood. We would go visit her and my Uncle Jim on many Sunday afternoons. I learned to drink tea at her house. I remember playing 'hide and seek' with my brothers in the yard, while my parents would visit with her and her family. I still remember the last time we visited, Memorial Day 1966. She passed away July 4, 1966, just a few months later. She's buried 'across the street' from my parents and her in-laws; my grandmother, great-grandparents and a couple of aunts and uncles. I stop to visit her and Uncle Jim at least once a year and say a silent prayer for them every time I visit the cemetery.
Why do I find her family so fascinating? Maybe it's because one of the tragedies in her life was always a childhood story. Her first husband, Frederick Ware, was a victim of the Titanic sinking on April 14, 1912. I even wrote a couple of blogs about my search for his name.
Or maybe it's because the more I search for members of the Still family, the more intriguing things I find. Things like:
The number of first cousins that married (James Christopher John Still and Sarah Simpson Still; Sudell Fox Still and Rosetta Still) or the Uncle who emigrated to Australia (Sudell Fox Still).
How many of the men in the Still family were Lightermen? And exactly what is a Lighterman? When and why did the family switch to being a Carman?
Whatever the reason, I'm probably going to send today knee-deep in British census forms looks for Stills, Hayes, and a number of other families, while I think about my Aunt Cis.