Before going to Jersey City, I was told by many that it was a very rough city. Jersey City was everything I expected it to be. It was a very different world. It seemed like a very rough place to grow up.
Next it was off to Richard’s home. I arrived about 4:15 and left at 9:15. I shared with the family stories about my search, pictures of John, and was able to interview Richard's mom, Emma. I came as a stranger and left as a friend. The family had some very nice photos of John as a youth and young man. Copies of these photos were later sent to me.
After about 30 minutes of the discussion, Emma, who was 86, said, “Wait a minute. This is funny. We have a man who is a total stranger telling us more about our family than we even know.”
I learned that John had been in World War II as part of the Battle of the Bulge and had been wounded by a bomb splitting a tree and shards of the tree entering his forearm, which explained the nasty scar John would never talk about. Before I left, Richard asked for the phone numbers of other family members with whom they had not spoken for more than 30 years. I hope they make contact.
During this trip, I was able to find clues to finding family for four generations — not bad for a day's work.
The Garvin story is a sad story about a sad life that tore the family apart for many years. Perhaps, this was the beginning for a family to learn about each other.
Barry J. Ewell is author of "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips and Tricks for Discovering your Family History" and founder of MyGenShare.com, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.
- Mormon mom battling breast cancer during...
- LDS sister missionaries assaulted in Chile
- ValueSpeak: How did my toddler grandson...
- LDS artist J. Kirk Richards says leaps of...
- Lutheran, LDS leaders forge common ground...
- 20 years later, 'blessed' Herring believes he...
- Defending the Faith: Going up to Jerusalem
- Online system will allow Mormons to pay...
- Online system will allow Mormons to pay... 72
- 20 years later, 'blessed' Herring... 53
- God will give you more than you can... 51
- Defending the Faith: Going up to Jerusalem 30
- Mormon man's half-court shot is a... 25
- LDS sister missionaries assaulted in Chile 14
- LDS artist J. Kirk Richards says leaps... 9
- BYU Cougarettes, National Hip-Hop... 8