Friday, March 6, 2015


     Well, here I go.  But where will I start?  There are Grissos and Smiths, Wrights and Bordens, Augustus and DeHarts, Tolsdorfs and Beiers.  There are Grossmans and Vorhies, Kerins and Reeders.  You get the idea.

      I am starting with the Smith, Vorhies, Withrow line, and I am dedicating these first entries to two family members we lost in January of 2015.  First is my mother's brother, John Hiram Grisso (1924-2015). I was born on his 21st birthday on February 21, 1945 while he was serving in the Atlantic during WWII. This connection made him very special to me.  I felt his absence profoundly this year on our birthday.

     My second dedication is to his first cousin, Jean Stevens Johnson (1929-2015).  In genealogy terms, she is my first cousin once removed. She and my mother were first cousins. On January 2, I called Jean with the news of John's passing.  We had a sad but lively conversation.  I spoke of my discovery of the grave of the parents of my Great Grandpa Hiram Lee Smith's parents in Tucumcari, New Mexico far from our Midwest roots.  George Smith (1842-1932) and Mary Smith (1847-1924) were great grandparents of Jean and John.

     Jean was my go to person for family memories and fact checking.  As happens too often, our best resources are gone too soon.  Jean died four days after her cousin, John,  and two days after our conversation.

     My life is richer because of these two family members.

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