WANDERINGS FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
BY GAYLE STUART
No one should be afraid of wasting time by learning something he is not required to know.
Do you ever think that you are wasting time when you sit at your computer looking for a hint on your family or trying to find some history on a place where your family may have lived?
Our field trip to Plumer Settlement in June was an eye opener to an area that I really did not know was there. The community has done a great job of recording the history of this area. (See article in this newsletter.)
Once, when we were in the museum of my hometown, we found a picture of the people who worked at the brickyard west of Little Falls, Minnesota. My grandfather Larsen and 2 or 3 of my uncles were in that picture. Was that a waste of time looking for something on the brickyard, knowing that some of my family worked there?
When we extended our time in the Scandinavian countries, we did not know of any relatives living there, but we found the churches that they attended and a couple of places they had lived. Was that a waste of time?
I am still trying to find out something about a copper tub that we have been told carried the belongings of one of the families when they came to the USA. There is a name on it, but is it who made it or is it a family name somehow?
We had to look a number of times in Clinton County, Iowa, to find the right cemetery where the Stuarts are buried. (The name of the cemetery had been changed.) When we found the right one, we also found several burials of the Dolan family. (Leo’s grandmother was a Dolan.)
Once, at the courthouse in Clinton, Iowa, we were permitted to go into the attic and we found naturalization papers for a great-grandfather Stuart. Another time, we found the divorce papers for an aunt; no one talked about why she came back to live in Walnut.
We were in Scotland and extended our trip to go to Tomintoul to find the farm and the church that was talked about in old family writings. Was that a waste of time?
I am sure when we have been looking for things that have to do with our families, we start out wondering if we are wasting our time and do we really need to know this. Are we the only ones of our family who care? We all have relatives that wonder why we are spending so much time and money looking for one more bit of information. Then they wonder how we ever found that. Most of our relatives are more that happy to let us waste our time looking.
Have a good time wasting your time and also learning something new.