It seems like things are constantly changing. Everyone is in such a rush to move forward that nobody wants to take the time to listen to stories from the past. I have always thought it was important to know where a person comes from. Recently I have been doing a lot of listening and looking. Shortly before Christmas my mom and I were messing around on one of those ancestry sites. My mom was getting excited finding out things about her family that she hadn’t known. That led to a lot of digging through old papers, photographs, and listening to stories. I’ve been spending hours scanning photographs, documents, newspaper clippings, and handwritten letters into my computer. I love listening to the stories that my parents are telling as we come across something new to add.
My mom and I decided that we are going to put together a little book. A family tree with memories written down so that future generations of our family can know their ancestors.
Like the picture of my grandpa B. When my grandma was younger she was visiting a neighbor. This picture was hanging on the wall. She knew she was going to marry that man someday. Now, she hadn’t met my grandpa yet but she knew when she saw this picture that was the man she wanted to marry and she did. They spent many happy years together.
There are relatives that I never had a chance to meet but now I feel like I knew them. I have listened to stories about them. Seen old photographs. I can see where people that I have grown up with look like others who have come before us. How my children have similar features. I have put faces to relatives that I have only ever had names of before.
There is one mystery that we came across though.
The man in this photograph was my great-grandpa (Morley Stirlen)’s first cousin. He was a silent film actor in B rated movies who went by the stage name of Richard Dix. We don’t know his real name. We don’t know anything about him other than his stage name and his relation to my great-grandfather! First I searched the name we had. There is a Richard Dix that I came across and when I discovered his real name I couldn’t find a connection between that person and my great-grandfather. Then I uploaded the image and did a google image search in the hopes that I would find more photos of him and maybe I could trace him down that way but I didn’t have any luck with that at all.
I wish I could find out who he was. Or what movies he was in and then I could watch them. I’d love to find his family and find out more about my extended family. But I don’t know what to do next in the search for this information. Do you have any ideas of where I could search?
Is personal family history something that interests you?