Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Rule of Two

Back in the 70s, when TOF first dipped his toe in the endless swamp of geneology, he interviewed his grandfather, Pop-Pop.

Family history is lived forward, but often discovered backward. So in good Aristotelian fashion, one starts with the living and peels back the onion generation by generation, resolving contradictions and oral traditions along the way. Bits and pieces accumulate, not always in logical order. In the course of the interview, several things ancestral emerged.
  • Pop-pop had never known his paternal grandfather, who had died when his father was only ten.
  • He was no longer certain of that grandfather's name, but thought it might have been James or John.
  • He had married Anne Lynch, who had worked for "a miller and his wife."
  • They had all lived in Washington, NJ, where the railroad yards were.
  • His grandfather had been killed on the railroad when he was caught between two coal cars and crushed to death, sometime he thought in the 1880s. 
The railyards in Washington NJ, c. 1880s


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