Sunday, 2 August 2009

Genealogy Tour

When we got up the next morning, Norma was at church, but she was home and we'd had breakfast before we knew it. The day's main event was an open house they were throwing for us to meet other members of the family. We'd already met a cousin and her husband when we arrived; they were just leaving. Her's was the rhubarb concoction that just about finished me off the night before and she'd made a chicken and pasta salad that I was soon to enjoy.

In the meantime, Norma knew I had a list of addresses I'd pulled off of the census records on that I wanted to go see. We piled in her car and she drove us around showing us this and that. When a neighbour of one of the houses was concerned at my taking pictures, Norma explained that it was because my

ancestors had lived there. They fair struck up a conversation at that point: how long ago was it, did it look the same, etc. Most of the addresses I had were in the NE section of Minneapolis, the oldest part of town, which was now occupied by a variety of ethnic groups. Norma pointed out that the old Polish Hall was now Buddhist; the Slovak Catholic church was now Hispanic Catholic, and so on and so forth. I was just pleased to see older buildings still in use, still community places of gathering. Norma said there weren't any parts of town that were completely gross anymore, lots of areas had come back with new waves of immigrants. That sounded very positive to me.

There is nothing special about these houses aside from being large. They appear to be split into 2 or 3 apartments and I expect they were when Grandma and Grandpa lived there 80 or 90 years ago. Of course, many of the houses on my list no longer existed; they were replaced with condominiums, highways and industrial estates.

Another place we visited was St. Boniface Catholic Church. This is where Norma had done a great deal of the family history research.

Those records are not part of the LDS collection and so I'd not appreciated how central it was to Grandpa's family. Though this church was only built in 1927, it was in the former St. Boniface that my great-grandparents were married and where each of their 9 children were baptised.


Anonymous said...

This house style looks familiar! Not only are there alot up North, but it is the style of my grandparents houses. My dad's father built his house and was a contractor.

Rick Stone said...

I've noticed that when we go "up north", that is like Minneapolis, you see some of these houses that have what looks like a front porch that has been closed in. When we go "way up north", that is like Duluth, we see even more of these. By closing in those front porches they seem to get more usuable room plus it knocks off the cold directly from their front entry door to the house.

I really enjoy when we go up there but would never live anyplace that has long "antennae" like polls attached to the hire hydrant's so the firemen can find them in the winter.

Shelley said...

Having an enclosed entry way would make a lot of sense anywhere there is extreme hot or cold (like in Oklahoma). We changed the way our outside front door opens so that in winter (we don't have A/C) we can put groceries in the porch and close the front door against the howling wind before opening the inside front door into the area we are paying to heat. That way all the warmth doesn't go blowing out the front door.

I agree that much snow sounds rather intimidating!