Anne and her daughter with me and David, 2013
In 2013, when I saw the photo above, I said that’s it, I’m going to lose weight. So far so good. Cousin Anne is coming to Washington D.C. on business in two weeks and I hope she notices the thinner me.
Anne grew up in Madison WI and lives in Montana. She visits Washington every couple of years. When we get-together we will visit the National Gallery, and we will talk about our common ancestry. Anne is one of the most ardent genealogists in Dad’s family which includes the Nichols line that settled in New England many years ago. Because she grew up in Wisconsin, Anne had access to all the old Grandmothers and Aunts who survived from the nineteenth century, including Sister Lois, with whom I corresponded and who gave Anne many old family photos.
After her father died, Anne found her mother filling a dumpster with a lifetime of material from the attic…old photos and documents, some of which I last saw at Aunt Marge’s home before she died. Marge, who cared for her Mom in her last years, had saved albums of photos of black clad women in crêpe de chine mutton sleeves. One photo I recall showed several women standing before a huge old Victorian boarding house in Green Bay Wisconsin. Great-great-grandmother Julia ran a boarding house for railroad men, which is probably how Prxla met great grandfather Herbert, Sr.
When she visits, Anne brings copies of some of the old photos. Below is one of our great-great grandmother Julia Dominowski, a Polish immigrant in 1866).I haven’t done much genealogical research on the Polish-German branch of the family, although I did find Julia’s Baptism records in German files. Julia and her family were devout Roman Catholics who fled Czarist Russia to migrate to the United States in the 1860s. (Russians can’t keep their hands off the Baltic States)
Julia’s daughter Prxla, called Priscilla, married one of the Nichols boys (Herbert), a devout Presbyterian of Scots and English descent. According to Aunt Marge, great-grandfather Herbert converted to RC on his deathbed. Priscilla’s son, also a Herbert and my Dad’s uncle, was a WWI hero who played for the Green Bay Packers.
David’s son Tim who is in the process of becoming an Anglican priest is leaving the area with his family in a few months. Tim’s company, a military systems federal contractor, is moving its headquarters to Denver.
Meanwhile daughter Connie, her husband, and two of their girls are headed to Denver to visit Connie’s stepdaughter, then drive west to San Diego to visit her brother Richard and his family.
Granddaughter Hannah, who won’t go west with her parents on this trip, will visit me in June. We’re planning to see the Caillebotte exhibition at the National Gallery. My June calendar is filling fast.