Saturday, June 4, 2016


Here I am at that crossroads. You know the one. It is that genealogy crossroads that has signs pointed toward the Wrights, the Tolsdorfs, the Grissos, the Bordens, etc. Recently, I have been consumed with the DeHarts. This worked out well because I could share a journal written by my aunt in 1988. The reason this worked so well was because I could schedule posts while on the road moving from winter residence to summer residence. Once I am settled back down, which way will I go?

Let's talk Grissos today.  This is my mother's father's side of the family. Mother, Mary Louise Grisso Wright. Her father, Bert Roscoe Grisso.

As I have mentioned before, my interest in family history was originally piqued by my Great Grandma Estella Smith. Then, came a special day in about 1972 when her son-in-law, my grandfather, spent an afternoon telling me about his heritage. After that day with Bert Grisso, I wanted to learn more about these ancestors who everyone thought came from Italy. Through my own family research and many others interested in the Grisso name, we have learned that the Grissos did not come from Italy, but some cousins just refuse to let that go. What is true is that three Grisso brothers left Virginia along with their wives, who were all Grubb sisters. They settled for a time in Tennessee, but eventually made their way to northern Arkansas around 1842-1844.  Most of the Grisso brother's siblings stayed in Virginia. (There is much to be written on the Grisso line in the future.)

In the 1970's, one of my dearest Grisso cousins read about a place in Seminole, Oklahoma called The Grisso Mansion. She was always curious about the place. Who were these Grissos? Were they relatives? Are we rich?

Sometime in the past 10 years or so, another aunt passed on to me part of a document written and complied by a couple of Grisso descendants of Mathias Grisso. This was not the whole document just part of it. It took me many long hours to decipher and understand these pages.  It might have been easier if I would have had the whole document.  It might have been much easier if every generation didn't need to name their Grisso sons, George or William. I know this is a common complaint among genealogists. I wish I could trade a George for a Henry or a William for a Charles. What names would you like to trade? Oops, digressing.

I have been on the trail of that completed volume of The Grisso Family book for many years. I have come close to finding it a few times. I exchanged emails with one of the authors who said there were no more good copies. I exchanged emails with a very gifted Grisso genealogist who had the book on C.D. Unfortunately, I did not receive the C.D. due to his untimely death. Somewhere through the years, I have learned that copies of this book exist in several libraries where Grissos have lived. There is a copy in Salt Lake City as well as libraries in Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, and Seminole, Oklahoma.

Now, Seminole, Oklahoma is where the Grisso Mansion is located.  AND there is a copy of The Grisso Family in the local library. This definitely has to be a stop on our summer migration route. It really isn't too far out of the way.

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