4 Sep 2015 – Answers to Interview Questions 1-5 (Mother)

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On 19 Aug 2015, I posted 50 Interview Questions.  In the past, when my Mom and I discussed her childhood, we really started in the middle of the story.  I really appreciated the survey questions because they provided a good framework for capturing family history.  In fact, I learned more about my Mom’s environment than I had in the past.  I urge anyone in the family history/genealogy business to use interview questions.  These questions were awesome!

As promised, following is a summary of the first set of answers from the interview with my Mom.  Enjoy!

  • What is your full name? Alice Lauraetta
    • Why did your parents select this name for you?  Alice was my grandmother’s name (father’s side), Laura was my great-grandmother (father’s side), and great-aunt Etta (father’s side).
    • Did you have a nickname?  No, not when young.  In college, they called me Chappy because everyone knew him.  Besides, my sister and I went to the same college.  She was two years ahead of me in college.

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7 Aug 2015 – The Island Of Cannibals…And Doughnuts!

You’re probably thinking, “what do cannibals and doughnuts have in common?”  Hmmm…well, read on to find out!

At the age of 28 years old, Melzar (my grandfather) and his best friend, Julius Jackson, joined the Merchant Marines as cooks.  Melzar and Julius did not know how to cook, but they could read so that’s exactly what they did!  Who can’t follow a recipe?

This job provided much-needed income and gave them a different perspective of the world. They traveled on the Agwi Prince and the Booneborough vessels during World War II, and were able to go beyond Mobile to places like London, New York, California, and New Guinea.  Can you believe the manifest identified Melzar as 33 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, and 178 pounds.  I’m sure he had a striking appearance! Continue reading

7 Aug 2015 – Introducing The Grandparents

Inell&Melzar Williams

Inell and Melzar Williams

When you start your family tree, start with yourself and gradually move through your tree by adding parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Capture what you know, then search the data bases on Ancestry (ancestry.com) or other genealogy sites for more information.  If you have the ability to visit your home town, you should visit the local library, churches attended by your family, and seek out living members to fill in the blanks.

Between the Dashes was created because I desired more than just the birth and death dates.   When you search the genealogical databases you find lots of information.  One of the challenges is filling in the stories between the dashes.  Who were they?  What were their hobbies?  What did they love to do?  What were some of their challenges?  Between the Dashes will focus on answering some of those questions about my family.  Let’s start with my grandparents.  

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