Everyone in town who has lived there any length of time or done any amount of genealogy around Western Maryland and especially in the little mountain town of Frostburg in Allegany County will have run into her either on the discussion boards or in years past at the courthouse, libraries, cemeteries, and historical institutions from Cumberland to all over in northern West Virginia and up into Pennsylvania. Genealogists who have ancestors on our direct line come from hundreds of miles to look at her files and chat with her. She's that kind of person. Everyone know Virginia Kelly.
Mom loves a good story and even more, loves a good mystery, genealogy style. She can still spot all those illegitimate births and unusual mating's form a mile away. If you have a criminal past and are in our direct line, she knows what you did. And don't be a missing person on our tree after 1800 because if you don't want to be found, too bad for you!
On one of my recent trips back east to see Mom while I was inspecting her bookshelf, I came across some steno notebooks where she wrote sources and discoveries in repositories, as she found them. Then at the end of one were some other writings: her stories from her own life. What a treasure! She read me a bit of it and I snuck out my cell phone and did a voice recording. I carry it with me, always.
When I got home I realized that if I was enjoying her stories from her own life, others would too, so she transcribed her handwritten words and typed them up. After some word processing fiasco that neither Mom nor I really want to talk about, I finally got the emails she sent with her typed documents, every bit of it.
When we all met up in Cleveland not too long ago I brought the first draft of it in booklet form. We all loved it. It needs more photos but doesn't everything? And I just know that Mom has already typed up a story about all the dogs in her life too. We just need to find it.
So here's what I plan to do. In the upcoming days Mom's stories will appear on this blog, complete with the photos we're using in her book. I do think that you'll really enjoy them. It starts just about the time when she was born in 1918 and travels through her childhood, teen years, and young adulthood. As you can spot right away, we're in small town life just before the Great Depression and on until just before WWII. Mom paints a picture of the joys and sadness's that touch almost every life no matter where or when, while closely describing her particular time and place.
Thanks, Mom for writing your stories. They are an instant family treasure!
Virginia (Williams) Kelly.
The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2013/11/stories-by-mom-introduction.html